Mike Pereira Says NFL's Relaxing of Celebration Rules a 'Step Back'

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 12, 2017

Jan 31, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Mike Pereira is interviewed during the Fox Sports press conference at the George R. Brown Convention Center prior to Super Bowl LI. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

While the NFL's decision to allow more leeway with celebrations was met with mostly positive reactions, former head of officiating Mike Pereira isn't a fan.

"I think it's a sad day," the Fox analyst said, per Clark Judge of Talk of Fame Sports. "I think that this is a step back that we worked...when I was there...so hard to kind of clean up the game and not send bad signals to young kids who were playing the game."

The NFL has had strict rules to limit celebrations in the past few years, resulting in personal foul penalties and heavy fines. However, the league announced in May a change to the rules that allows players to use the football as a prop, celebrate as a group or go to the ground.

Pereira believes this is a bad change considering these types of acts aren't allowed in any other age group.

"We set the tone as supposedly the idols, and kids are going to watch these acts again," he said.

This opinion was also expressed by Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis immediately after the rule change was announced.

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"You want to teach people how to play the game the correct way and go about it the correct way," Lewis said in May, per Katherine Terrell of ESPN.com. "And that's not a very good example for young people."

Despite the disappointment from Pereira and Lewis, players around the league are certain to take advantage of the more relaxed policy in 2017.

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