Denver Broncos linebacker and Super Bowl 50 Most Valuable Player Von Miller is being investigated by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission after catching a shark off the coast of Miami.
According to ESPN, Miller was on a guided fishing tour when he reeled in a nine-and-a-half foot hammerhead shark. Miller posted a photo of him posing with the bloodied shark — holding it by its tail — on his Instagram page. The photo has since been deleted. TMZ posted a video on Saturday showing Miller and others hauling the shark onto the boat, marveling at its size and celebrating the catch.
The video shows the shark being released back into the water, but it floats away on its side before quickly sinking under the water. It’s unclear from the video whether the shark was dead or alive when released.
That was enough to outrage the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals — more well known by the acronym PETA.
ESPN reported that PETA saw the social media posts and promised “to ensure that Miller is held accountable if killing this animal was, as we suspect, illegal.”
And now, the FWC is involved.
“The FWC has received the images and video and is looking into whether or not a violation occurred in this incident,” FWC public information coordinator Carol Lyn Parrish said in a statement to ESPN.
According to the FWC’s website, hammerheads are classified as “Group 3” sharks. The harvesting of sharks in this group in state waters is a second-degree misdemeanor, which has a maximum punishment of a $500 fine and 60 days in jail in Florida.