NEW YORK, N.Y. – In a step towards giving the fans what they’ve been asking for, the NFL announced on Tuesday that there will be a loosening on touchdown celebrations in the upcoming season.
League commissioner Roger Goodell released a letter to the fans, saying “We are relaxing our rules on celebrations to allow players more room to have fun after they make big plays.”
During the ’16-’17 season, there was an uptick in the number of “demonstration” penalties (30), eclipsing the 29 combined from the previous two seasons.
Among the now-allowed celebrations are using the ball as a prop after a touchdown, celebrating on the ground, and group demonstrations that are free or sexual acts or weapon gestures.
Fans and players were not happy with the thin line between okay and excessive penalties last season. “We know that you love the spontaneous displays of emotion that come after a spectacular touchdown,” said Goodell. “And players have told us they want more freedom to be able to express themselves and celebrate their athletic achievements.”
The NFL also made provisions to “leaping”. Players can not use another player to leverage or launch themselves on punt and field goal blocks.