When is a touchdown dance more than a dance? Cam Newton is only the latest example in the age-old dance of celebration vs. taunting.
The Carolina Panthers are the last undefeated team still dancing and Cam Newton, the front runner for NFL MVP, is a big reason why. Over the last week Newton became the subject of scrutiny after a Music City mother sent a letter that the Charlotte Observer opportunistically published scolding Newton’s Elvis-esque gyrations.
Then came the response.
A response to the response.
And finally a response to the response of the response.
If you are trying to remember the steps to this media montage – it’s racism, the objectification of women, and celebratory limits of franchise players, cha, cha, cha.
The steps for settling the dance between celebrating and taunting are much simpler.
In hopes of creating clarity and not stifling the moves of our favorite sporting entertainers, here are some quick pointers for players and fans.
… is brief during play.
… directed at teammates or your fans.
… is proportional to the value of the moment.
… is from the pure emotion of joy and satisfaction.
… is rarely misinterpreted by opposing players or penalized by the officials.
… is excessive in length during play.
… is directed at opponent or their fans.
… is disproportionate to the value of the moment.
… is from the raw emotion of arrogance and anger.
… is often interpreted by opposing players as disrespectful or penalized by officials.
This is hardly comprehensive or complete, but it could help in spotting some of the differences on any field of play in which you are watching or playing.
In the case of Cam Newton, dancing is no problem… unless an opposing player takes offense. Then attempt to defuse the situation, or just avoid directing an emphatic pelvic thrust in his direction.
Just remember your mother, my mother, and apparently everyone else’ mother is watching – so when in doubt, make it about giving away footballs to kids and not all this other nonsense. That’s the most entertaining and rewarding celebration.
The Lead Block challenges players and fans to honor their opponents, on and off the court. To find out more about how you can become a part, click HERE.