The National Football League has a problem with players from Miami expressing themselves. How else can one explain the recent crackdown on Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown, who was a formerly a star athlete at Miami Norland Senior High?
During the first quarter of the Steelers' October 10 game versus the New York Jets, an NFL representative threatened to eject Brown if he didn't change his customized cleats, which honored the late Muhammad Ali. Yet the league had no problem a week earlier, when Brown wore cleats honoring the recently departed golfer Arnold Palmer.
That all came on the heels of the NFL fining him a total of $34,463 for doing the Doo Doo Brown dance, which is named for one of my songs, after scoring touchdowns in two games. These days, the dance is known as twerking, and the league decided it was "sexually suggestive."
Brown is appealing the latest fine for $24,000 and is not backing down. "You have to have fun," he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I can't stop having fun."
Of course, NFL apologists such as ESPN talking heads Max Kellerman and Stephen A. Smith were quick to defend the fines against Brown.
"I don't have a problem fining a player, including Brown, for twerking or whatever you want to call it," Kellerman said. Added Smith: "I understand the Brown fine. You don't want something sexually suggestive."
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This shows the NFL's hypocrisy. On one hand, Commissioner Roger Goodell and his executives claim they promote clean, wholesome family entertainment. Yet every team has half-naked cheerleaders in cutoffs and booty shorts on the sidelines. During timeouts, they do dance routines you would normally see at Tootsie's Cabaret.
And it's obvious the NFL engages in selective enforcement. The league hasn't fined Arizona Cardinals wide receiver John Brown for his touchdown dance, which is very similar to Antonio Brown's. In fact, the Cardinals player's celebration is featured in the videogame Madden NFL 17.
The NFL needs to understand that players from Miami have tremendous passion for the game. Brown and others like him should be allowed to express their happiness after scoring a touchdown.
Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.