This week, the NFL sent out a video explaining the NFL’s crackdown on unsportsmanlike penalties this season. The video, which you can watch here, focuses specifically on taunting and celebration penalties.
The league has recently come under fire for being too strict and too unclear with their rules regarding these type of infractions. In Week 4, Josh Norman was flagged for doing a bow-and-arrow celebration, while the same gesture has gone unflagged on at least two other occasion. Additionally, Antonio Brown has celebrated a few times with what the NFL deems “sexually suggestive” motions and has been flagged for it.
So today’s Question of the Day is:
Do you think the NFL has an unsportsmanlike conduct problem?
My answer: Absolutely not. As the video readily admits, football is an extremely emotional game, and when you do something good, it’s exciting. Now, would I prefer players to simply just celebrate their own accomplishment rather than shove it in someone else’s face? Sure. But acts like “spinning the ball at an opponent” or even wagging a finger at someone aren’t very aggressive or mean-spirited. If players were getting in the faces of their opponent and physically touching them, that would be a different story.
As for the sexually suggestive stuff, the NFL can throw their “save the children” argument in the garbage. This is a league that has no problem taking endorsements from beer companies that proclaim their love for TWINS, and can’t seem to get their huge domestic violence problem under control. But, sure, a middle schooler twerking after scoring a touchdown in his backyard is going to ruin this sport.
Matt Ufford tackled this issue perfectly: