The NFL have been left red-faced today after an eagle eyed fan spotted that he league's official merchandise store had been selling an image of Marshawn Lynch's 'crotch grab' celebration for $150. This despite having reprimanded the Seattle Seahawks star to the tune of $20,000 for performing the "obscene gesture."
To make matters worse the NFL had, only this weekend, threatened to penalize the Seahawks with a yardage penalty should Lynch perform the celebration again in the Super Bowl.
The NFL has been quick to remove the collage from the store, stating that the image should not have been for sale, but the embarrassing faux-pas has led to many NFL fans crying hypocrisy.
The collage, as it was presented on the NFL store website, can be seen below.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy attempted to clear up the situation on Monday morning, stating the image should never have been available for purchase because:
"Any play that results in a fine may not be used commercially."
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This policy stems from 2010 when the NFL were criticized for selling an image of James Harrison making a hit for which he received a $75,000 fine.
Having come down hard on Lynch and his Seattle teammates for their "obscene" celebration during the recent NFC Championship game the realization that the league was - for a time at least - attempting to make profit from the incident certainly sheds a dark light on the NFL.
The best case scenario for the NFL is that they simply had not realized the image was for sale thus making them look incompetent rather than down right greedy.
The fact that the NFL's merchandise department allowed the photo to go on sale as part of an officially licensed product simply shows the disjointed nature of the organization.
The fact the issue concerns a man that they have repeatedly targeted for fines is the icing on the cake.
Check out the Marshawn Lynch's history of fines in the infographic below...
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