Miami Dolphins

Tyreek Hill covering pay for photographer who was suspended by NFL over touchdown celebration

Kevin Fitzgibbons was suspended after teaming up with Tyreek Hill for a TD celebration

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Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill said he will cover the pay for an NFL photographer who was suspended after celebrating with him after a touchdown earlier this season.

Kevin Fitzgibbons, who had been contracted by the NFL to shoot Dolphins home games, was behind the endzone when Hill scored a 41-yard touchdown in the second quarter against the Carolina Panthers in Week 6. Hill took a phone from Fitzgibbons and filmed himself doing a backflip before handing the phone back. The NFL’s UK Twitter account posted the video before promptly deleting it.

Fitzgibbons took to social media earlier this week and revealed that he was suspended for the rest of the season – and “possibly for good” – for celebrating with Hill.

“[The NFL] said regardless [of] if I knew the celebration was coming or not, I still had to be disciplined and that I shouldn't have jumped on the sidelines after the play,” Fitzgibbons said in a video.

Hill was flagged on the play for using a prop in celebration but absolved Fitzgibbons of any blame in his Week 6 postgame interview. On Thursday, he said he and Fitzgibbons are longtime friends and that he will cover any lost pay.

“Me and K-Fitz, we've got a long history together,” Hill said, via ESPN’s Marcel Louis-Jacques. “The news is something that I already knew. I told him don't let this get to you. Just hold your head up. You're still young. Continue to do what you love. Me and him are going to continue to work together.

“I told him I was going to cover his salary, whatever the NFL was going to pay him or whatever. I told him I was going to make sure that I do what's right and take care of you, make sure you're not out of a job. That's my guy.”

Fitzgibbons, a 20-year-old student at the University of Miami, is still an NFL employee and is not barred from future events, an NFL source told Louis-Jacques. He acknowledged at the end of his video that he understood the NFL’s decision and thanked the league for the opportunity.

"Despite reports to the contrary, Kevin Fitzgibbons remains a contracted NFL employee," Tim Schlittner, the NFL's Director of communications said in a statement. "While his game access has been temporarily suspended due to multiple violations of NFL policy, he is welcome and encouraged to participate in any number of other projects involving off-field league events as well as personal projects with players."

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