It’s tough being a dad. For San Diego Chargers player Eric Weddle, it’s also expensive. Weddle’s daughter performed as part of a halftime dance ceremony. Eric stayed on the field to watch and support his daughter. Nothing unusual in the minds of many observers.
However, this act resulted in a whopping $10,000 fine for Weddle by the San Diego Chargers. The bizarre move was confirmed by the San Diego Union-Tribune on Monday.
“Eric Weddle should have told his coaches he was staying on the field to watch his daughter dance at halftime of the team’s home finale. OK. That’s not the point.
The Chargers brass should have reacted differently, rather than fine him $10,000. [That] is, if they wanted a chance to keep their prideful and willful free safety beyond this season. Obviously, they don’t. Because no one could be dumb enough to think it is not a virtual certainty the five-time All-Pro will depart in free agency.”
Union-Tribune writer Kevin Acee expressed utter frustration with the Chargers’ treatment of Eric. Said Acee, “[It] speaks to a larger problem the organization has in dealing with its players.”
— ESPN (@espn) December 29, 2015
USA Today reports that Chargers coach Mike McCoy confirmed the fine on Monday, something he justified as “an organizational policy.” Weddle’s agent David Canter is clearly livid over his client’s treatment by the team. He complained that in addition to putting Eric on the injured reserve list, they waited to announce these players wouldn’t travel to Denver.
The fine for watching his daughter at halftime is quite possibly the final straw, turning what some called a previously repairable relationship into one representative of burned bridges.
Nothing more important than this. Especially 0 halftime adjustments in a blowout win at home. Worth the nonsense. pic.twitter.com/splYf7BWUa
— DEC Management (@davidcanter) December 29, 2015
The fine may have been a by-the-book response to Eric Weddle’s decision to support his young daughter. However, the justification isn’t sitting well with everyone. Weddle was fined for “conduct detrimental to the team.” It’s hard to argue how his absence during the several minute intermission hurt a team up 23-0 at the half.
Still, one can argue that putting personal interest over his job wasn’t fair to Weddle’s team and that for this reason, the San Diego Chargers were right to fine him. This viewpoint is further strengthened by the fact that Eric never actually told anyone where he was going. Perhaps if he’d said something, a fine might not have happened.
Such a black and white point of view can’t completely be argued down… but it certainly suggests the Chargers are indifferent to Eric Weddle to the point of almost wanting him to leave. This attitude is frustrating to Acee, who writes, “[Weddle] has started 93 of the past 95 games through myriad injuries and taught younger players on and off the field and been like a coach during games.”
“In addition to making plays that others screw up, this is one of the great family men and role models in the game.”
Kevin closes his article by saying that Eric Weddle will probably be “someone else’s problem” next season. What Weddle will leave behind is a 4-11 team that will likely start to hemorrhage players and staff. There is also a possibility the Chargers could be leaving San Diego altogether and taking up residence in Los Angeles.
As for Eric Weddle, he will be a free agent at the end of this season. He’d previously expressed frustration over the inability to extend his contract back during preseason. Perhaps getting fined for watching his own kid at halftime might make Eric glad things never worked out.
— San Diego Chargers (@Chargers) December 29, 2015
Do you think the San Diego Chargers was right to fine Eric Weddle for watching his daughter at half-time or was the move somewhat petty and unnecessary? Share your thoughts below!
[AP Photo/Denis Poroy]