In May the NFL decided to relax its restrictions on player celebrations, in part due to criticism and a recent decline in television ratings. A number of celebrations that players were penalized for during the 2016 season will not be penalties in 2017, such as dunking on the goal post as long as the player doesn’t hang on the post.
However, one of the popular celebrations that will remain banned is the mimicking of shooting a bow and arrow that Josh Norman has routinely used. Unfortunately for the Washington Redskins cornerback, the league did not clear the celebration, as explained by NFL official Carl Johnson. Johnson visited the Redskins as the league clarifies the rule change to each team.
Norman’s bow and arrow celebration is a “form of imaginary weaponry” which will continue to be banned whether on the field or on the sidelines.
“You’re just picking on one person here,” Norman said, per John Keim of ESPN. “[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, who signed a five-year deal worth $75 million with the Redskins in April 2016, pointed out that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers shoot cannons in celebration in their home stadium, as well as the New England Patriots who shoot a musket. Not understanding how mimicking shooting a bow and arrow is any more dangerous.
“It’s not like you’re shooting at somebody,” Norman continued. “You’re shooting up. It gets the crowd excited, something to where everyone’s getting pumped up, so why take that away? What for?”
Last season, Norman was penalized and later fined $10,000 for the celebration after an interception against the Cleveland Browns. At the time is was a baffling matter to him.
Arguably one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL, has had a fair share of reasons to celebrate throughout his career. Now the Redskins’ top defensive back will have to channel his emotions or display them in a different manner. Still, the banned celebration is perplexing for him.
“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.”