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NFL will send teams video clarifying unsportsmanlike conduct calls

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016. Brown was penalized for the celebration. (AP Photo/Don Wright) AP

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that he hoped the team could “get detailed clarity” on what will result in excessive celebration flags for wide receiver Antonio Brown after he received his second of the year in last Sunday’s game against the Chiefs.

Tomlin’s request comes after a weekend that also saw some question why Redskins cornerback Josh Norman was flagged for miming the shooting of a bow and arrow when other players have not been similarly penalized. Others have also questioned the rise in taunting calls — up 220 percent compared to the first four weeks of last season while all unsportsmanlike conduct penalties are up 56 percent, per ESPN — this season as the league’s decision to make it a point of emphasis has also seemed to stretch the definition of what qualifies as taunting.

During an appearance of NFL Network, NFL senior vice president of officiating Dean Blandino said that the league will send a video to the 32 teams in the near future in hopes of providing the kind of clarity that Tomlin was asking for.

“We certainly want the teams to have clarification and this isn’t a new issue,” Blandino said. “We’ve been dealing with this in the past. And so we’re going to send a tape out in the next week or so and clarify some of these things. But the key is if it’s a gesture that either mimics a violent act — that’s something with a firearm or a bow and arrow — or a sexually suggestive act, those are unsportsmanlike conduct. That’s … something that officials will flag. That’s direct from the competition committee and something that we’re going to try to be as consistent as possible.”

Blandino said the officials will not back off on the number of calls as the season progresses, which means players will have to adjust behaviors if they’re going to escape flags that could punish their teams at moments when things are going their way.

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66 Responses to “NFL will send teams video clarifying unsportsmanlike conduct calls”
  1. riflemanlax says: Oct 5, 2016 11:42 AM

    ‘Unsportsmanlike conduct’ is even less clear than what a catch is.

  2. sloiggles says: Oct 5, 2016 11:42 AM

    I guess the NFL should get a flag and a fine for airing that commercial featuring “I’m So Excited” then huh?

  3. Pointy Williams says: Oct 5, 2016 11:46 AM

    And the league will continue to field incompetant officials, and continue to change/interpret rules on-the-fly. When fans question it, they look down their noses at us like we’re stupid. It’s a horrible product, yet they wonder why viewership is down.

  4. boobsmcgoo says: Oct 5, 2016 11:47 AM

    Like that Heads Up Tackling video? Doo do do doo…This league…

  5. mrdot1 says: Oct 5, 2016 11:49 AM

    The No Fun League strikes again.

  6. jamaltimore says: Oct 5, 2016 11:50 AM

    don’t need to send them just go to NFL.com and you can see it all in their highlight package. The rules they come up with these days and the ticky tack crap is 100% ruining the game. I love the Ravens but the terrible call against pryor in cleveland baltimore game cost the browns the win. NFL officiating is becoming WORSE than the NBA and many believe he NBA is fixing games….

  7. cardiovascularendurance says: Oct 5, 2016 11:50 AM

    I think it’s safe to say that lewd, thrusting gestures towards the football will probably be included in that video.

  8. NFLexpert says: Oct 5, 2016 11:51 AM

    Hey NFL, no more sideline cheerleader crotch shots and gyrations then huh?

  9. firerogergoodell says: Oct 5, 2016 11:52 AM

    I wish Roger Goodell cared about football as much as he cares about uniform violations and excessive celebrations.

  10. edukator4 says: Oct 5, 2016 11:53 AM

    simple: will this penalty help us to achieve the narrative or outcome we desire?
    if yes throw the flag
    if no, let the action continue until the player we want to flag gets frustrated and receives the subsequent penalty.

  11. 700levelvet says: Oct 5, 2016 11:53 AM

    Coaches worried about TD celebrations?… Lol

  12. alewatcher says: Oct 5, 2016 11:53 AM

    The unsportsmanlike conduct and taunting calls are out of hand. I realize the officials need to keep control of the game, but as long as the flow of the game isn’t disrupted, let the players play.

    It’s crap like this that drives viewers away from the game.

  13. 6ball says: Oct 5, 2016 11:54 AM

    .
    Some of these penalties have been absurd.

    Chandler Jones was penalized 15 yards for a 3 second display following a sack against the Patriots. It took place away from the action. Clearly, Jones was not trying to humiliate his former teammates. It was so inconsequential, yet it cost the Cardinals the game.
    .

  14. jag1959 says: Oct 5, 2016 11:57 AM

    So much for Monty Python. Apparently when it comes to the No Fun League the counting of the number shall not be 3.

    Key & Peele nailed it, why not have them do the video?

  15. yourunclerico says: Oct 5, 2016 12:00 PM

    its simple. when brown twerks its a penalty, when a donkey does the EXACT same thing, its FINE!

    typical

    the WWNFL in full effect. Fixed.

  16. accordingtoquent says: Oct 5, 2016 12:04 PM

    Smh…and they wonder why ratings are down? You almost see more flags and referee conferences than good football. They’re messing up the flow of the game…

  17. largejk says: Oct 5, 2016 12:05 PM

    Hey Tomlin, do you really need “detailed clarity” to know what will and wont bring a flag? How about you do your job as the coach and have a little talk with AB and put a stop to his nonsense already!
    –Steelers Fan

  18. getthegleam says: Oct 5, 2016 12:07 PM

    McCringleberry strikes again!

  19. johnodocks says: Oct 5, 2016 12:08 PM

    Coach Tomlin,

    Just tell AB that after he scores a TD to hand the ball to the ref and go over to the sidelines and pat his teammates on the back for helping him put the ball in the end zone. And if he doesn’t, fine him yourself. Problem solved.

  20. gerard33 says: Oct 5, 2016 12:08 PM

    Taking out big hits makes the game boring, but at least it’s for safety. This makes the game boring for the sake of being boring. Gee, why are our ratings down?

  21. onereasonableman says: Oct 5, 2016 12:10 PM

    Blake Bortles punted a football into the stands after a touchdown. No call. Why? Or why was it the right non-call??

    Really, everyone is too sensitive. Unless a guy is in someone else’s face taunting, allow a little celebration and move on.

  22. edon8334 says: Oct 5, 2016 12:18 PM

    the NFL and ppl boycotting watching the games because of protest want the players to be emotionless robots on the field

  23. borbinski says: Oct 5, 2016 12:19 PM

    At times some games do seemed fixed.

  24. chuckshontaspads says: Oct 5, 2016 12:30 PM

    Look at Goodell, listen to Goodell and realize that this automaton is ruining what used to be the best league, the most fun game to watch and must see T.V….not so much anymore.. you all can Thank the “Enforcer”for what now is an almost unwatchable product.

  25. TheDPR says: Oct 5, 2016 12:33 PM

    It’s one thing to dislike celebration dances. I don’t tune in to watch dudes dancing; I tune in to watch football. More importantly, however, I don’t think my personal tastes in the matter have any business being encoded in the rule book of an athletic sports league. If the celebration has no impact on the game itself (eg. if the player doesn’t delay the game or get in the face of an opponent) then the officials should have no business penalizing it.

    Let ’em dance like they just got Katie’s phone number, as long as it doesn’t take too long.

  26. justafanofnfl says: Oct 5, 2016 12:34 PM

    Chandler Jones was penalized 15 yards for a 3 second display following a sack against the Patriots……..it cost the Cardinals the game.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    The Pats were leading 10-0 early in the 2nd quarter. The sack produced a fumble that Jones recovered. He was penalized but Arizona kept the ball and scored a TD cutting the score to 10-7.

    I’m not sure how it cost Arizona the game.

  27. peytonwantsaflag says: Oct 5, 2016 12:42 PM

    what seems to be escaping all you NFL HQ haters is you’ve got a couple dozen or so goofballs who seem to lack basic self control who, with their moronic celebrations, are –

    1 lengthening game times
    2 intentionally angering opposing teams
    3 hurting themselves (physically)
    4 offending some viewers (yeah not you, but get over it, it’s the public airwaves)
    5 thumbing their noses at the league.

    What do you expect the league to do?

  28. baltimoresnativeson says: Oct 5, 2016 12:43 PM

    Raider D-Lineman sacked Flacco then gyrated like Miley Cyrus at an award show…..

    No Flag, this explanation is horse crap.

  29. 6superbowls says: Oct 5, 2016 12:46 PM

    Anytime there’s an interception by a Steeler DB I cringe at the thought of watch William Gay in the endzone. Dude’s had 4 TDs in the past 2 seasons and each one’s cost the Steelers 15 yards. I’m sure he’s had other penalties on teammates TDs as well.

    How about acting like you’ve been there before?

    Signed ~ Life long Steeler fan

  30. 6superbowls says: Oct 5, 2016 12:48 PM

    Many reason’s why I’ve stopped watching the NFL.

    This is one of them: Blandino said the officials will not back off on the number of calls as the season progresses.

    How this guy got to be in charge of rules and officiating is beyond me? He bull-headed attitude is gonna kill the sport.

  31. antkowiak666 says: Oct 5, 2016 12:49 PM

    The NFL is becoming a joke,God forbid you show emotion aftter scoring a TD to take the lead at the end of a game……thank God the NHL starts next Wednesday.

  32. edelmanfanclub says: Oct 5, 2016 12:54 PM

    I am all for sportsmanship and safety but the NFL has changed too much. I dont mind protecting defenseless players (should be both offense and defense, not just WR) but you literally arent allowed to hit the QB anymore. I find it odd you can get flagged for sacking a QB too hard. Two personal fouls is good for an ejection but they should be blantant personal fouls, unsportsmanlike conducts shouldnt counts its too vague. Excessive celebrations are unsportsmanlike? Cursing is unsportsmanlike? It’s too much for me. Stop changing everything from PATs to kickoffs to penalties to catches to playing games in different countries. The new rules cause so many players to whine for flags, football used to be a simple sport. Hockey is about to pass it as my second favorite sport and I just got back into the Devils last season…

  33. trigzter says: Oct 5, 2016 12:56 PM

    Send one to the fans

  34. jaymeister says: Oct 5, 2016 1:01 PM

    I always liked Barry Sanders celebration the best.

  35. jag1959 says: Oct 5, 2016 1:04 PM

    So much for Monty Python. Apparently when it comes to the No Fun League the counting of the number shall not be 3 although no doubt 5 is still right out.

    Key & Peele nailed it, why not have them do the video?

  36. stoopidfool says: Oct 5, 2016 1:12 PM

    how about the PSI data from last year’s games?

  37. leroyquimby says: Oct 5, 2016 1:14 PM

    Tomahawk chop not a violent act?

    Salsa dance not sexually suggestive?

    God forbid someone celebrate doing something good. Hell, I jump and down and high five people at the bar when my team scores. I can’t imagine working so hard all week and actually doing in an NFL game in front of 60,000+ fans cheering for you.

  38. 345snarkavenue says: Oct 5, 2016 1:15 PM

    the league is probably making it ambiguous intentionally so that they can introduce replay-review of celebrations in order to shoehorn-in a few more commercials.

    as a side note, after reading the above description of the types of celebrations that will get flagged/fined, I can see why Welker’s snow angel was so offensive.

  39. oldtrix says: Oct 5, 2016 1:17 PM

    Goodell continues to infect the league with his petty micromanagement.

    Trying to take the emotion out of a game that runs on adrenaline will only result in further ratings loss. Fans (and pretty much everyone else) don’t know what a catch is anymore. Or taunting, or possession after a fumble…trying to make the NFL politically correct is a disservice to both players and fans.

    Mark Cuban had it right. I think the hogs are walking to the slaughter this year.

  40. dtroxallday says: Oct 5, 2016 1:24 PM

    Maybe they should fine any cameraman that shows these celebrations.

  41. surfinbird1 says: Oct 5, 2016 1:26 PM

    Coach Tomlin
    Things like trying to trip the other teams player and possibly ending his career might qualify.

  42. jackedupboonie says: Oct 5, 2016 1:33 PM

    My favorite is, refs evening up penalty numbers quietly. Seattle breaks off a 15 yard run on 3rd and short, 7 yards down field, a flag comes out for defensive holding which everyone knows will be declined. Replay shows nothing, but it shows up in the stat line as a penalty for the Jets…..one closer to making the final tally not soo obvious.

  43. silverhat78 says: Oct 5, 2016 1:37 PM

    So the NFL wants humans to be robotic and have no emotions after a TD. Ok.

  44. Lemmy Aksyadis says: Oct 5, 2016 1:42 PM

    leroyquimby says:
    Oct 5, 2016 1:14 PM
    Tomahawk chop not a violent act?

    Salsa dance not sexually suggestive?

    God forbid someone celebrate doing something good. Hell, I jump and down and high five people at the bar when my team scores. I can’t imagine working so hard all week and actually doing in an NFL game in front of 60,000+ fans cheering for you.

    I hear ya but what is this predilection some folks have with copulating with or defecating a football. Apparently they are mentally 9 years old. Their parents must be proud. No, really, who do you think brought them up that way. Strange culture indeed. Worse are those who think it’s OK.

    I don’t like the Gronk spike either. Grow up dude. There should be 2 HOFs, pre & post Billy White Shoes. That’s the spot right there where class died in the end zone. If I want to see gyrating hips I go to a nudie bar, not to a football field.

  45. profootball13 says: Oct 5, 2016 1:43 PM

    act like you’ve been there before………

  46. weepingjebus says: Oct 5, 2016 1:44 PM

    Celebrating a great play while cheered by thousands: Unsportsmanlike.

    Disrespecting the flag from the sideline while glared at by thousands: important and protected social commentary.

    Understand?

  47. youdrivemenutseagles says: Oct 5, 2016 1:45 PM

    Hearing the ref say to a stadium full of people: “Unsportsmanlike conduct: player shot a bow and arrow”, absolutely made my weekend.

    If not for Fantasy Football (Pryor), I’d have missed that.

  48. ebdug says: Oct 5, 2016 1:50 PM

    Isn’t shooting an arrow into the air more romantic than violent?

  49. fleaman1381 says: Oct 5, 2016 1:53 PM

    I’m picturing this video to be something like “Good Idea, Bad Idea” from the Animaniacs cartoon.

  50. bills1oftheseyrs says: Oct 5, 2016 1:55 PM

    Hey NFL more stupid flags might one reason for your TV ratings tanking!

  51. vonvoghoul says: Oct 5, 2016 2:18 PM

    So I’d expect Alfred Morris to be penalized 15yds Everytime he swings a bat. Pretty sure that it’s more common nowadays to be beat to death with a Louisville slugger than being killed with a bow. NFL is terrible.

  52. lp0320 says: Oct 5, 2016 2:55 PM

    A couple of observations from a lowly football fan:

    1. Antonio Brown needs to act a bit more like Heath Miller – just hand the ball to the ref and be on your way.
    2. That being said, if he gets the flag, Emanual Sanders should get the flag too . . .
    3. The disrespect to the US Flag and Anthem absolutely should be unacceptable . . .

  53. kevpft says: Oct 5, 2016 2:57 PM

    You can’t legislate class, good taste, or sportmanship, sadly.

    Between blows to the head and tasteless look-at-me celebrating, there’s a depressing aftertaste to watching most NFL games anymore.

  54. MTLighthouse69 says: Oct 5, 2016 3:02 PM

    The only thing that is missing is a group of individuals at each game who officiate the officials. They could throw different colored flags for each blown call by the officials, immediately remove those horrible officials from the game and replace them with temps to finish out the game.

  55. thisistheonlygame says: Oct 5, 2016 3:38 PM

    jaymeister says:
    Oct 5, 2016 1:01 PM
    I always liked Barry Sanders celebration the best.

    If I recall the celebration went something like this:

    Barry crosses the goal line, jogs straight to the ref and hands him the ball. Then jogs to the sidelines. Other players may slap his helmet during the “celebration”.

  56. TheCakeIsALie says: Oct 5, 2016 3:40 PM

    And shoes. Don’t forget the importance of wearing compliant shoes.

    Who says these old owner’s are out of touch?

  57. 2manyconcussions says: Oct 5, 2016 3:49 PM

    Cause we know how those bows and arrows are contributing to the violent culture in which we live….NOT! So much for common sense.

  58. tonebones says: Oct 5, 2016 3:51 PM

    I love what the NFL is doing. If players want to act like idiots, throw them out of the game. Football is a great game. If I want to watch dancing, I can turn to another channel.

  59. imodan says: Oct 5, 2016 4:01 PM

    How absolutely awesome would it be if the NFL sent out the spygate videos accidently? I’m a Pats fan but that would be SO a Goodell move. Imagine the coaches faces when they think they are going to watch a “do this, not this” video and that pops up. Heads would explode. I couldn’t wait to hear Blandino’s explanation beyond the standard “bad visual” bs.

  60. Lemmy Aksyadis says: Oct 5, 2016 4:05 PM

    MTLighthouse69 says:
    Oct 5, 2016 3:02 PM
    The only thing that is missing is a group of individuals at each game who officiate the officials. They could throw different colored flags for each blown call by the officials, immediately remove those horrible officials from the game and replace them with temps to finish out the game.

    So what do we do at 14:15 of the 2nd qtr when there are no more refs?

    Obviously this wouldn’t apply at Mile HiGH where they have “house refs”. I suppose since those calls are scripted so they get to stay.

  61. MichaelEdits says: Oct 5, 2016 4:10 PM

    A compilation of all the NFL’s greatest unsportsmanlike acts might get better ratings than any of the games.

    Do I have to be in the NFL to get one of these videos, or can fans buy them too?

  62. 345snarkavenue says: Oct 5, 2016 4:20 PM

    imodan says:
    Oct 5, 2016 4:01 PM

    How absolutely awesome would it be if the NFL sent out the spygate videos accidently? I’m a Pats fan but that would be SO a Goodell move. Imagine the coaches faces when they think they are going to watch a “do this, not this” video and that pops up. Heads would explode. I couldn’t wait to hear Blandino’s explanation beyond the standard “bad visual” bs

    ——

    or the video recording of the 2015 halftime psi testing. probably shows Kensil putting a football on a scale.

  63. mmack66 says: Oct 5, 2016 4:23 PM

    The unsportsmanlike conduct calls will all be reenacted by the 345 Park Avenue Players.

  64. Kerouac says: Oct 5, 2016 5:04 PM

    Will add: is no different than the ‘monkey see monkey do’ types who must copy cat same. One player taunts, others do the same. Beat your gums, beat your chest, sky point and/or variously act out other – including taking a knee/raising a fist during anthem – and sure enough/soon enough everybody does the same, which affirms how choreographed and non-spontaneous (as in phony) the act and the players are.

  65. haardcase says: Oct 5, 2016 5:18 PM

    A million years ago, when I played ball, the coach said that the only thing you do after a touchdown is find the official, give him the ball, and head for the bench, where you can do all the celebrating you want.

    His philosophy? Act like the end zone is familiar territory – like you expected to be there all the time.

    And if you let the other guy get in your head, you’re not playing your best game – you’re playing his game.

    Not sure why pro players can’t figure that out.

  66. draagull says: Oct 6, 2016 9:12 PM

    I used to be against the dancing celebrations, but recently have changed my mind. Personally I would rather watch players celebrate a TD with questionable dancing than the 500 erectile dysfunction commercials I have to see. If the NFL wants this eliminated, I get it. But you better make damn sure this is the same for everyone. AB getting flagged, then Emanual Sanders not, for essentially the same thing? This is completely unacceptable.
    Also I get the concept of the sexually suggestive celebrations. Fine, enforce them, BUT don’t take the money for the erectile dysfunction commercials I have to sit through every Sunday. Talk about hypocrisy. I feel the need to annoy or distract my children every time these commercials come on, but a dance….not so much

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