By Jamiel Lynch, Natalie Barr, David Close and Jacob Lev, CNN
(CNN) — The NFL suspended the credentials of a videographer who was involved with an on-field touchdown celebration by Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill – and in response, Hill said he will pay the videographer’s salary.
The incident took place during the Dolphins’ October 15 win against the Carolina Panthers. After scoring a touchdown, Hill grabbed a camera from University of Miami student Kevin Fitzgibbons on the field sidelines and performed a backflip selfie.
In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Fitzgibbons said he shared a friendship with Hill, describing him as “one of my best friends.” Fitzgibbons said Hill noticed him standing in the sidelines after scoring the touchdown and “surprised me by grabbing my phone and doing a backflip.”
“It was the coolest moment ever, and I ran into the tunnel to send the clip to the NFL,” the student said in his video. Fitzgibbons said he began working for the NFL at Dolphins home games in 2022.
Hill was not fined for the incident, but the team received a 15-yard penalty, the NFL said.
Fitzgibbons said he was told by the league that whether he knew Hill’s celebration was coming or not, he still had to be disciplined and he should not have jumped on the sidelines.
“One of the best moments of my life turned upside down in a matter of seconds,” Fitzgibbons said in the video. “I get why the NFL had to make this decision and wish I could have done something to prevent it, but I am thankful for the memory that Tyreek gave me. This was the greatest job in the world and I never took a day for granted.”
CNN has not been able to reach Fitzgibbons for further comment. His post has more than 36 million views and has garnered the support of Lebron James, sports betting website DraftKings and Hill.
On Thursday, Hill said he has a long history with Fitzgibbons and spoke with him about his credentials being suspended.
“I told him, ‘Don’t let this get to you,’” he said. “’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.”
A source with the NFL confirmed Fitzgibbons’ credentials were “temporarily suspended due to multiple violations of NFL policy.”
The source noted Fitzgibbons remains a contracted employee and is welcomed and encouraged to participate in any number of other projects involving off-field league events as well as personal projects with players.
The Dolphins are 8-3 so far this season and lead the AFC East, with Hill scoring 10 touchdowns.
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