Antonio Brown’s end zone antics have racked up two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties through four games this season. Brown’s twerking celebration in Week 1 cost him $6,076. His Week 4 hip thrusts? Four times as much.
Both touchdown dances were deemed unsportsmanlike because they fell under what the league calls “sexually suggestive” acts, which is not to be confused with the mimicking of a violent act, another kind of celebration that falls under unsportsmanlike conduct. The Redskins’ Josh Norman gave an example of the latter when he drew a flag for “shooting a bow and arrow” — and was fined $10,000 as a result.
It makes sense that the NFL would increase the penalty for a repeat offense, but four times as much seems a little steep, especially if you break down the circumstances of each celebration. See for yourself:
What no one seems to be talking about is that Brown’s first celebration was on the road in front of opposing fans, while the second was at Heinz field. The severity of the latest fine begets an obvious question: If one can’t dance at home, then where can one dance?
The good news is that the NFL plans to untangle what, specifically, constitutes the mimicking of a sexually suggestive or violent act, and they will do it in video form.
“We’re going to send a tape out in the next week or so and clarify some of these things,” senior vice president of officiating Dean Blandino said this week on NFL Network. “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.”
Here’s hoping that video is made public. Either way, if Brown keeps going at this rate, he could make a sizable dent in his salary of just under $12 million.