The NFL will not look the other way when it comes to touchdown celebrations.
Showing he's a lousy judge of dance contests, an official threw a penalty flag Sunday night after wideout Antonio Brown of the Steelers pumped his hips in celebration of his own 38-yard touchdown reception during a blowout victory against the Chiefs. Brown probably also should expect to hear from the league, which fined him after he twerked on a touchdown in week one of the regular season. Brown's earlier celebration included three hip-thrusts, but his celebration against the Chiefs lasted two, 2 1/2 pumps, tops, and technically wasn't even twerking. Regardless, the NFL thinks it was 2 1/2 pelvis thrusts too many.
What is this, the town from Footloose and Roger Goodell is oppressive John Lithgow?
Sure, it's provocative, athletic, hot even. But a penalty? It's a self-contained celebration. Brief. Spontaneous. Joyous. The good ol' days, like when Washington's "Fun Bunch" receivers would choreograph a group high five in the end zone, are long over. But restrained individual celebrations are still supposed to be OK, even if the NFL has made periodic attempts to curtail any such moments that could antagonize an opponent. Do we really need to protect the feelings of the Chiefs to the degree that we can't have such celebrations? Such a cynical view of the NFL is what "Key and Peele" warned us about.
At least the NFL is consistent and doesn't, say, use the same celebration it finds so offensive as a way to promote the league on social media.