The NFL has relaxed rules about on-field celebration by players, but not everything has been deemed OK by the powers that be.
Celebrations involving the use of imaginary weapons are still against the rules, something that NFL official Carl Johnson confirmed in a visit to Redskins camp on Sunday. That meant a reminder for cornerback Josh Norman that his bow-and-arrow celebration would continue to draw him the penalties and fines that he drew for using it last season.
As you’d imagine, Norman isn’t a fan.
“You’re just picking on one person here,” Norman said, via ESPN.com. “[Brandin] Cooks has been doing it for years, and now all of a sudden you want to quit and stop it? Why is that?”
Norman was penalized and fined for the celebration last year while Cooks, who has explained his biblical inspiration for the move, avoided league discipline. On top of that disparity, Norman also noted that the league doesn’t seem to have an issue with simulated violence.
“You can shoot a cannon in a stadium [in Tampa], or you can shoot a musket in a stadium [in New England] a well,” Norman said. “If one of them is bad and looked at as dangerous, how come not all of them are looked at in that way? … When someone shoots an imaginary bow and arrow up in the sky, that’s a penalty? … An imaginary bow-and-arrow. Why is that violence? You saying the people that came before us were violent? That’s how I see it.”
That’s not the way the league has opted to view it, which means it will be in the best interests of both Norman and the team to come up with a different way of celebrating. Norman says he plans to do that and we’ll have to wait to see if it passes muster with the powers that be.