Plenty of NFL players have criticized the league’s excessive celebration penalties, but Josh Norman feels singled out by one of the new rules.
The Washington Redskins cornerback was fined $10,000 last season for shooting an imaginary bow and arrow after intercepting a pass in a Week 4 win over the Cleveland Browns. NFL official Carl Johnson visited Washington’s training camp Sunday and made it clear that “imaginary weaponry celebrations” are illegal, which Norman took exception to.
“You’re just picking on one person here,” Norman told reporters Sunday, per ESPN.com. “(Wide receiver Brandin) Cooks has been doing it for years, and now all of a sudden you want to quit and stop it? Why is that?”
Cooks, who’s now with the New England Patriots, did have a bow-and-arrow celebration with the New Orleans Saints, but unlike Norman, he altered it last season after it was deemed illegal. Still, Norman pointed out the NFL’s seemingly hypocritical stance on fake weapons when it comes to team celebrations by the Pats and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“You can shoot a cannon in a stadium, or you can shoot a musket in a stadium as 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?”
Norman said he’ll create a new celebration for this coming season, but he’s still not happy about it.
“It’s not like you’re shooting at somebody,” Norman said, per ESPN.com. “You’re shooting up. It gets the crowd excited, something to where everyone’s getting pumped up, so why take that away? What for?
“You don’t come back to the locker room and come get a bow and arrow and shoot somebody. Like, come on, man, let’s have fun. Let us do something to where we feel excited. We’re not out here shooting someone with a gun. I can understand that. It’s shooting a bow and arrow.”
Thumbnail photo via Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports Images
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