North Carolina high school QB ejected for Cam Newton celebration

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Thousands of young football players in North Carolina want to be just like Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, but celebrating like Newton got one North Carolina high school quarterback kicked out of a game.

West Mecklenburg High School quarterback Jalan McClendon was ejected from a state playoff game on Friday for doing the “Superman” touchdown celebration that Newton does when he scored. And McClendon would have been suspended for two additional games if the referee had called the celebration a form of taunting. Fortunately, the ref said it was an unsportsmanlike act but not taunting, which means he gets an ejection but not a suspension.

McClendon’s coach, Jeff Caldwell, told the Charlotte Observer that McClendon is a good young man who was just excited that he scored a touchdown in a playoff game.

It’s a good learning experience for him,” Caldwell said of McClendon. “With him being in the position he’s in, he should know better. He’s a young kid. My kids have never been in a situation like this before. I’m just happy for Jalan and that it came out all right. I’m glad he wasn’t severely punished for something where he was just having fun. He’s not the taunting type.”

Promoting sportsmanship is important at the high school level, but if all McClendon did was the Newton Superman pose, an ejection seems rather severe. But just to be safe, if McClendon scores again this week, he’d be wise to ditch the Cam Newton impression and imitate Barry Sanders instead.

41 responses to “North Carolina high school QB ejected for Cam Newton celebration

  1. It would not bother me at all if the NFL stopped all the unnecessary preening that occurs during a game. A player makes a tackle and celebrates as though the team won a SB. Enough already.

  2. Sounds like taunting to me. To impersonate a superhero after you score a TD when seemingly nobody else was able to do it because you were just better than them all? He didn’t break out the Superman uniform before the play presumably, and waited until after the score to brag about his true powers. That totally seems like taunting to me. It’s assumed that the rest of the kids on the field do not have supernatural powers and he is acting like he does and that he’s on a whole different level way beyond them. He should be suspended in accordance with the rules, and also so he can learn a lesson and grow up.

    The referee should also be asked to give his definition of what the word “taunting” means, just to see if he is even close to accurate on understand the word and the rule.

  3. i wonder if they were down by three touchdowns – because then he could say he was paying homage to Cam, not celebrating.

  4. Too much is being taken away from the game. Holding the ball in front of an opponent on the way to the end zone…that’s a taunt. Scoring a TD and pretending to rip open your jersey to expose that you are Superman……fun. Let the kids play! It IS a game

  5. Cam’s lame celebrations make him hard to like, and I’m really trying. That aside, NFL players spike the ball on almost every TD, which would also be a major no-no in high school. Different worlds.

  6. Just once, during the course of a normal workday, I want to see someone compose a particularly effective email and then jump up from their desk, spike their laptop to the gound, and do a celebratory dance.

  7. Sounds like the coach handled it perfectly. It was a good learning experience for him.

    Let the points you put on the scoreboard do your celebrating.

  8. when i was in high school, our running back did a front flip into the endzone. No flag, no penalty, no suspension. Just a rowdy crowd.

    The No Fun League spreads into high school games now?

  9. Kids and ALL players need to know they are part of a TEAM!!! Doing stupid individual celebrations are too much – GROW UP and celebrate with your team – btw, you couldn’t score without the other 10 guys on the field with you!

  10. Not Really off-topic I guess–but when I was a kid, I saw an opposing player at a local high school score a touchdown and spike the ball–which bounced up and caught him in the cods like a sledge hammer.

    He took Himself out of the game!

    I haven’t thought about that in years!

  11. How could anyone remember what his celebration is, it’s been forever since he celebrated anything.

  12. An ejection for that is just silly. Throw a flag…15 yards…coach can chew him out. Over. Dumbest rule ever.

  13. penalize all touchdown celebrations it’s apart of the game that is unsportsmanlike and shouldn’t be allowed. the team is not allowed to celebrate and nobody scores on their own.

  14. How this become a Cam hate feat? Anyway, dumb ejection.. I agree with the other guy… Flag him 15yds then let his coach chew him out… Ejection is too much.

  15. Let kids be kids, good lord……

    Stop expecting a 16-18 high school athlete to act any way other than a teenage athlete…..

    Grownups, well that’s a different story….

    any complaints about clay matthews and his antics? or let’s say Jared Allen…..

  16. There is nothing wrong with celebrating, as long as your not in the opposing teams face doing it.

    I know that high schools are trying to teach these kids how to be a good sport, but really celebrating when you do a positive thing, there is nothing wrong with that.

    The NFL should relax a little more about what they allow too. The NFL is entertainment, let these players entertain. I liked seeing one player try to outdo another with the creativity of their celebrations. It gives the game another whole level of entertainment. I miss seeing the T.O., Chad Johnson and Stevie Johnson TD celebrations. If you ask me, the NFL is a little lax with some teams and hard on others. Is the NFL going to get rid of the Lambeau Leap? No, because its a tradition that brings more fans into the seats. If you block endzone celebrations, you should block that one considering that a spectator could be injured during the leap. If you block one they should all be blocked. So why not let these players be themselves, the fans enjoy it.

  17. I see why the NFL is the No Fun League. Based on more than half the comments here, they are clearly catering to a crowd stuck in 1920s. Bunch of stuffed shirts. Yet, J bet each of them will dang near trample a kid for an autograph. Hows that for irony and hypocrisy?

  18. Flip the ball to the ref, act like you’ve been there before and that you are coming back again. Barry Sanders was classy, the new generation could learn a lot by watching that man. For Cam it’s all about him and he will take the Panthers no where for as long as he puts himself first.

  19. Yes, in high school and college you cannot celebrate, but to act like some of these young men are going to be mature and calm enough to pull a Barry Sanders is ridiculous.

    You’ve never done a dance when beating your friend in Madden? Or in backyard football? Or whatever?

    Of course you have. And here’s we’re talking about a kid during a playoff game.

    (feel free to follow up with Jim Mora jokes).

  20. Y’all know coaches tell players in the NFL to be excited about making a play right? It’s infectious and gets the team pumped up.

    I bet the majority of these uppity commenters are overweight beer drinkers that haven’t played sports in years.

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