Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce has been fined for two separate occurrences both during and after Sunday’s Divisional Playoff game against the Steelers — most notably, for making comments in a locker room interview regarding referee Carl Cheffers. The fine for criticizing Cheffers is believed to be around $12,500. Kelce was also fined $9,115 for an in-game unnecessary roughness foul for shoving Pittsburgh defensive back Ross Cockrell to the ground at the end of a play.
Kelce’s remarks came following a holding call on Kansas City left tackle Eric Fisher which nullified a successful two-point conversion that tied the game in the waning moments. The Chiefs were forced to retry from the 12-yard line, where they missed their second opportunity. Cheffers threw the flag — correctly — for the hold on the first attempt. In the locker room, Kelce stated that the call made was wrong, that Cheffers “shouldn’t be able to wear a zebra jersey ever again,” and shouldn’t even be able to work at Foot Locker.
Cheffers will be the referee at Super Bowl LI, as Football Zebras revealed Wednesday.
The NFL has issued discipline similar to this earlier in the regular season, fining Washington defensive back Josh Norman during Week 8. Norman, like Kelce, singled out an official and questioned his performance, as opposed to a general complaint about officiating.
Kelce is no stranger for hefty fines relating to officials. Following a Week 9 game against Jacksonville, Kelce was fined $24,309 for throwing his towel at field judge Mike Weatherford; he was automatically ejected because he received another unsportsmanlike conduct foul on the same play. That dollar amount is for a first infraction of verbal or other non-physical offense against an official. Kelce’s comments about Cheffers do not count as a second offense, since those comments were off the field, it is not covered under the fine schedule set in the players’ collective bargaining agreement.