Penalties on Antonio Brown's pumps are inane and misguided

The Pittsburgh Steelers demolished the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night. Beat ’em 43-14, whomping them every way you can beat a team: in the air, on the ground, in the headsets. The Steelers look completely refreshed from last week’s humiliating loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, while the Chiefs appear adrift and no threat to the Denver Broncos or even the Oakland Raiders in the AFC West.

With the particulars addressed, let’s talk about the real issue here: Antonio Brown’s penalty-drawing pump. With just over a minute left in the first quarter, Brown scored on a 38-yard one-on-one and proceeded to celebrate with what appeared to be a mere two pumps. That would seem to be more appropriate than the three-pump twerk that drew a flag in Week 1, but nope … another penalty.

Antonio Brown, pumping.
Antonio Brown, pumping.

NFL folks: this is stupid.

Enough with the penalties for self-contained celebrations. Yeah, yeah, we know, the NFL doesn’t want sexually suggestive celebrations. But it’s not like Brown was miming even a lap dance. Nobody’s feelings were hurt by the pump, no children were scarred.

Matter of fact, let’s do a little compare-and-contrast. Let’s take a look at what was on TV at roughly the same time as Brown’s 1.08-second pump and compare moral lessons:

• “Secrets and Lies,” ABC: Plot synopsis: “A woman’s body drops from the roof of a high-rise hotel while at an office party.” Glamorous violence!

• “Family Guy,” Fox: “Peter starts betting on Chris’ baseball games when Chris becomes a pitcher to work on his anger management issues.” Betting on pro sports is evil, right?

• “Madam Secretary,” CBS: “Elizabeth asks President Dalton to risk change in an election year after a storm destroys a naval base in Bahrain, prompting the-” Lord. OK, this is probably safer than a hip-pump.

And if we venture onto basic cable, which is the home of “Monday Night Football” and more accessible than the NFL’s own network, you’d find:

• “The Killing of Jon Benet,” A&E: Death of a child played for ratings, yet again.

• “Law & Order,” USA: Sunday’s episode involved a rape accusation, which is definitely child-appropriate.

• “Fear the Walking Dead,” AMC: People get eaten on this show. EATEN.

• “Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” SyFy: This seems fine.

And that’s not to mention the litany of kidnappings, beatings, innuendo, and Nazis referenced in NBC’s own ads.

Bottom line: the NFL’s pretense at keeping things classy and well-behaved is inane and misplaced. Scoring touchdowns in the NFL is tough — well, if you’re Antonio Brown, not that tough, but still — so if a player wants to let a little emotion fly, why not?

One-point-zero-eight seconds, NFL. That’s all Brown’s pump lasted. The republic will surely survive a demonstration of that length.

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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.