CFL says some props now OK during touchdown celebrations
Edmonton Eskimos' D'haquille Williams celebrates a touchdown against the Montreal Alouettes during first half CFL action in Edmonton, Alta., on Saturday August 18, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Jason Franson)
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, August 23, 2018 2:54PM EDT
TORONTO -- The CFL is relaxing its stance regarding the use of props during touchdown celebrations.
The league announced Thursday that effective immediately, players can use props in TD celebrations provided they aren't hidden in their uniform or the goal-post assembly. The items also can't be demeaning or discriminatory, simulate the firing of a weapon and can't unduly delay the game.
"The stakes in our league are very high and the intensity level is second to none," CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie said in a statement. "But at the end of the day, football is a game and it should be fun for players and fun for fans."
On Saturday, Edmonton receiver D'haquille Williams was flagged for objectionable conduct after he and two teammates crawled through an end-zone advertising placard following a touchdown in the Eskimos' 40-24 victory over the Montreal Alouettes.
The night before, Winnipeg receiver Darvin Adams wasn't penalized for his innovative TD celebration. After hauling in a 72-yard touchdown pass, Adams commandeered an on-field television camera and used it to film some of his teammates in the Blue Bombers' 44-21 loss to the Ottawa Redblacks.
Under the CFL's revised standard, Williams' celebration would be allowed.
"This change came after discussions held by the commissioner, presidents from the league's member clubs and on-field officials and supervisors," said Darren Hackwood, the CFL's director of officiating. "Everyone involved wants to reach the right balance between giving players an opportunity to express their joy and creativity and maintaining the pace and sportsmanship of our game."
The revision falls within the league's broader standards and rules for objectionable conduct. That includes the prohibition of unnecessary physical contact with an official, throat slashes and any action with a sexual connotation.
As well, players who choose to use a prop such as a hand-held television camera or other private property assume liability should that property be damaged.
Montreal Alouettes receiver B.J. Cunningham said he's already planning on what to do next time he gets in the end-zone.
"I'm might try to get in the end zone twice tomorrow," Cunningham said Thursday. "We've got some ideas set up. I know we can use props so I'll get ready."
Teammate Adarius Bowman was less enthusiastic on the rule change.
"My own opinion, I say no. Let's just stick with football," he said. "It can be a good and bad thing. Guys might take it too far. Just go in the end zone like you've been there before and get the ball back to the referee. That's my motto."