The new NFL season is right around the corner and fans will have to get up to speed with the new rule changes ahead of the new season, many of which are likely to lead to a lot of debate.
One ruling thrown-up for the new season has led the NFL to ban bow-and-arrow celebrations on game-days, with the league clamping down on any form of imaginary weaponry celebrations and making it clear those guilty of celebrating in this fashion will be punished.
Washington Redkins corner Josh Norman is one player who’ll be directly affected by the new rule, as he won’t be able to display his customary bow-and-arrow celebration this season, and the 29-year-old has stated he feels targeted by the rule.
Norman was penalised for his celebration last season in a win over Cleveland, where he intercepted a late pass, and was later handed a $10,000 fine. Whilst the new rule is widespread, Norman believes the ruling is directed at him.
Quoted by ESPN, the 2012 143rd draft pick said:
“You’re just picking on one person here. [Brandin] Cooks has been doing it for years, and now all of a sudden you want to quit and stop it? Why is that?”
“You can shoot a cannon in a stadium, or you can shoot a musket in a stadium as well. 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’s celebration has made him a cult-hero amongst Redskin fans and the decision to ban his celebration feels rather pointless in the grand scheme of things, although the NFL may suggest it incites violence. It’s difficult to see their viewpoint though and Norman himself has questioned the decision, arguing there is nothing wrong.
“It’s not like you’re shooting at somebody. 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. 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.”
Norman’s protests are likely to fall on deaf ears as the NFL has had their say on the incidents, although it’s certainly strange to see the league targeting behaviour like this rather than addressing the more serious problems within the game.