Roger Goodell on NFL curbing celebrations: ‘Our players are role models’
The NFL has long been sarcastically referred to as the “No Fun League.” And with the league coming under fire for its attempts to curb individualized, choreographed and excessive celebrations, the unflattering moniker seems as fitting as ever.
But according to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, there’s a method to the madness. In essence, Goodell contends one of the main reasons the league looks unfavorably upon celebrations is that players are setting bad examples for youngsters with their antics.
And Goodell insists the NFL isn’t considering getting lax with the enforcement of its policies against said celebrations.
“The [competition] committee looks at this every year,” Goodell said, via The Washington Post. “This is one of those things — I’ve been in the league 35 years. I don’t think there’s been a year where we didn’t look at this issue.
“It comes down to balancing a lot of issues, the professional standards that we want to uphold. We do believe that our players are role models and others look at that at the youth level. So that’s important for us to hold that standard up. And it’s part of being a professional. So that’s one element of it.”
In the first six weeks of the 2016 NFL season, referees have called 16 penalties for excessive celebration, while only 10 were called last season in the same time span.
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown — and his post-TD twerking — has been among the league’s primary targets as it attempts to curb excessive celebrations. But Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman and New Orleans Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks have also run afoul of NFL policy for their bow-and-arrow pantomime gesture. The NFL’s arguably draconian approach to celebrations even inspired one player to mock the league.
In essence, the NFL is attempting to clean up the game as it sees fit. While many disagree with how the league attempts to legislate what many perceive as the fun element out of the game, there’s a reason it’s called the “No Fun League” after all.
One could argue the NFL has far more important issues it needs to address, it doesn’t look like the NFL is backing down on this front anytime soon.