In case you didn't hear yet, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown was fined $24,000 dollars for his latest touchdown dance at Heinz Field in Week 4, this according to sources stated by ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.
Now, for the record, Brown is no stranger to fines by the league office. In the picture attached to this article you can see he wore blue cleats in the Week 1 win against the Washington Redskins. A violation of the league's uniform policy meant he donated some of his game check back to the NFL.
The interesting move which he performed in the picture above, was not just flagged with a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, but was also fined.
Brown has been flagged and fined on numerous occasions after scoring touchdowns. He was flagged for his famous goal post slide after returning a punt for a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts in 2015. He was flagged for falling to the ground in 2014 after scoring a touchdown, and now he was fined for a second time in the Week 4 win over the Kansas City Chiefs when he did his best Key and Peele McCringleberry impression.
The NFL has labeled this flag, and fine, along with the Week 1 flag, and fine, due to being "sexually suggestive". Look, I get it. I have 4 small kids at home, and I don't particularly want them walking into school doing what Brown is doing on the field, but at the same time, I want my kids to enjoy the game of football, and sports in general.
The league needs to find a middle ground in this scenario and allow players to express themselves in a way where they aren't feeling as if they are being watched by a stalker. Think I'm joking? Watch either college or professional football and watch the officials after a touchdown. That Key and Peele sketch isn't too far from reality after all.
When are things going overboard? Not when Brown gets flagged and fined for several suggestive thrusting motions, but when Josh Norman pretends -- key word: PRETENDS -- to take an arrow out of an imaginary holster and shoot it with a bow, and gets flagged for excessive celebration.
I know there are those who will read this and think, "Good! Back in my day when you made a big play you just handed the ball to the official." or "Act like you've been there before." I get it, you don't like the "look at me" players, but you might also be caught on the weekends yelling at kids to get off your lawn. Not every player is Barry Sanders and will simply hand the ball off after scoring a touchdown.
In terms of the Steelers, even some of the most calm and collected players have shown some emotion from time to time. Heath Miller, never one to draw attention to himself, was known for catching a big pass in a big game, throwing the ball down and showing some rare emotion for fans to witness.
That is my main point. Football is an emotional sport, and players will celebrate in their own way. What the league needs to do now is to try and work with the players to find a way for them to express themselves, without making a mockery of the game and an overall scene.
If not, the No Fun League will continue it's masquerade of telling players not to celebrate, yet profiting from those who make the plays and make the game exciting and fun to watch.