HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – The NFL announced on Tuesday that they have relaxed restrictions on celebrations allowing the football to be used as a prop and legalizing group demonstrations and other spontaneous celebrations.
“We know that you love the spontaneous displays of emotion that come after a spectacular touchdown. And players have told us they want more freedom to be able to express themselves and celebrate their athletic achievements,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wrote in a letter to the players.
There will be certain celebrations still outlawed including those of a threatening nature and sexualy suggestive movements like the “twerking” by Steelers wideout Antonio Brown. Goodell’s letter indicated, “Offensive demonstrations, celebrations that are prolonged and delay the game, and those directed at an opponent, will still be penalized.”
Teams will now be able to show players what is an acceptable form of celebration but don’t ask Texans head coach Bill O’Brien for a demonstration on “twerking”.
“I think you’re going to have to take a longer time to explain to me what twerking is,” O’Brien said jokingly.
There are some coaches, like Cincinnati’s Marvin Lewis that are unhappy with the softening of the rules.
“I’m not for that at all,” Lewis, told ESPN.com’s Katherine Terrell. “We had a good standard, and the whole standard has always been, you want to teach people how to play the game the correct way and go about it the correct way, and that’s not a very good example for young people.”
O’Brien doesn’t echo the thoughts of Lewis and feels that the game, despite being competitive, is also meant to be fun.
“These guys have fun playing,” O’Brien said at OTA’s Tuesday. ” I think, in the end, that’s what the league is trying to ‘allow these guys to do’ is to continue to have fun. If it steps over the bounds of certain things as we all know in normal society, then it’s got to get flagged. I don’t think it’s that hard to show, especially our team. We have a bunch of great guys. They understand what it means and we’ll show them examples of what you can and can’t do. I think the league is just trying to continue to make sure that the fans and the players have fun.”
Alex Del Barrio covers the Houston Texans for Sportsradio610.com and is the color commentator for the Houston Dynamo. He also hosts “ADB and Murph” with Matt Murphy which can be heard on Saturday afternoons 4-7 pm Follow Alex Del Barrio on Twitter: @alexdelbarrio