The NFL has issued fines for celebrations that are sexually suggestive (like Antonio Brown’s twerk) or mimic a violent act (like Josh Norman’s bow-and-arrow shot). According to Senior Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino, those are not images the league wants to portray.
“There are many, many kids out there that are NFL fans that are playing football and they see our athletes and they mimic what they do,” Blandino said in a video clarifying unsportsmanlike conduct fouls. “We wouldn’t want some of these things out on the youth football field.”
But Norman, a defensive back for the Washington Redskins, sees it as a complete double standard.
In an interview with 106.7 The Fan on Thursday, Norman discussed the discrepancy between what the players want and what the league wants.
I think we have a double standard as a league, he added. We say want to be PG (rated) or whatever television show we showing, but at the same time were selling beer on TV shows when kids (are) watching. So its kind of like, well dang, if thats the case and thats good, why cant we have fun within the game?”
Zac (@DCzWall) October 4, 2016
Norman was flagged 15 yards and fined $9,115 for his bow-and-arrow celebration in Week 4. Many echoed Norman and pointed out the league’s hypocritical behavior, including the controversy surrounding his team’s name.
The #NFL who pretty much worships war, claims Josh Norman recreating shooting a bow and arrow is a ‘violent act.’ Good job, America.
Richard (@4StraightCups) October 6, 2016
NFL fining Josh Norman $10,000 for “Redskin Bow & Arrow” celebration is effectively a political punishment & 100% BS https://t.co/VcuW5I7H4T
John Ziegler (@Zigmanfreud) October 6, 2016
Whoa! The @NFL fines Josh Norman for the bow and arrow gesture but they allow the team he plays on to carry a racial slur as their name
Amex Rodriguez (@SportscenterJ) October 6, 2016
NFL is a joke for fining Josh Norman $10k for the “bow and arrow”. They promo players doing that celebration during commercials smh
Trey Crosby III Guru (@TCIIIyeee) October 5, 2016
Brown was flagged for pelvic thrusting after a touchdown in the same week as Norman’s bow-and-arrow. During the game, the NFL posted a GIF of Brown dancing, which drew more criticism from folks who saw it as hypocritical.
NFL: if Antonio Brown’s dancing is good enough for you to feature in your commercials, don’t flag him for doing it. #SundayNightFootball
Wartime (@BradyCrytzer) October 3, 2016
The NFL wrote “Business is booming” because they fine Antonio Brown for his celebrations, then use his celebrations in marketing and tweets https://t.co/F5mGH4PtCG
Rodger Sherman (@rodger_sherman) October 3, 2016
Norman appealed his fine, unsuccessfully. His situation marks one of many ways the NFL is trying to iron out its own inconsistencies by imposing tighter regulations.
Norman isn’t having it.
“I mean its a barbaric sport,” Norman said. “So if you want to be a double standard, like, cmon, man. Lets be realistic here. You want to have things the way you want it, but then again, when it comes to us, we cant have the things we want. It dont even make any sense.”