Elliott’s touchdown celebration in the giant Salvation Army kettle on Sunday has been dubbed one of the best celebrations in the NFL, and it has helped boost the attention of the charitable organization.
After running 2 yards into the end zone to take a 17-3 lead against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday night, Elliott ran into an over-sized Salvation Army kettle and ducked down into it before slowly coming out. It was Elliott’s 13 touchdown run this year, setting a new franchise record.
What was a spontaneous celebration became one of the top trends on social media on Monday, and its effects are beginning to be felt at divisions all across the country, including in Atlanta.
“We’ve definitely seen the attention. It’s gone viral,” Martha Reich, the Salvation Army director of development for the metro Atlanta area command, said on Monday.
In a statement provided to 11Alive, the Salvation Army said it saw a 61 percent increase in online donations after the celebration.
“The Salvation Army was given a wonderful gift last night when Ezekiel Elliott chose to jump in the end zone’s red kettle,” the organization said in the statement.
Reich said it is too soon to know how much Elliott’s celebration will help the Atlanta division meet its holiday goal of $2 million, but there’s no doubt the little free advertising helped. The game drew an audience of 24.2 million viewers.
“I think it was very authentic,” Reich said. “I think just like he said, it was a perfect celebration.”
Those were Elliott’s words after the game, saying his celebration was perfect because they are a partner of the team and wanted to show them a little love.
The celebration drew a 15-yard penalty, and based on the league’s tough stance on celebrations this year, should have resulted in a fine. But, the NFL announced on Monday that Elliott would not be fined.
Elliott had promised to match any fine the league imposed on him and donate that amount to the Salvation Army, a partner with the Cowboys. After hearing he wouldn’t be fined, Elliott Tweeted that he would still be making a donation.
Article from 11Alive