Roethlisberger Believes Officials Target Brown’s Celebrations During Primetime Games


Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown and running back Le’Veon Bell were flagged for an excessive celebration following a touchdown in Thursday night’s win over the Indianapolis Colts and that penalty ultimately led to their opponent scoring a touchdown on a short field. During his Tuesday interview on 93.7 The Fan, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was asked about Brown’s celebration penalty and if anyone on the team has talked to him about it.

“Yeah, we did,” Roethlisberger said. “I knew that that was going to happen at some point because I think it was like the first game of the year, the Washington game, AB and DeAngelo [Williams] did their little dance as they were coming off the field and ref kind of said something.

“I forget if he said something to me, or said something to them, and I said, ‘Hey guys, you just got to be careful because I know you’re kind of coming off the field, it’s not a part of the attention, but they’re going to get you for it.’ And they kind of looked at me like, ‘Really?'”

Roethlisberger went on to say that head coach Mike Tomlin brought up the celebration penalty during a Monday team meeting and referenced him as saying that’s a huge penalty that the team can’t take.

“We put our kick cover team in a bad situation and we can’t have it,” Roethlisberger quoted Tomlin as saying.


Roethlisberger was later asked if he thinks officials are put on notice when it comes to Brown and him celebrating in the end zone after scores and especially when it comes to primetime games.

“I know for a fact that he [Brown] scored touchdowns in one o’clock games that aren’t the big prime time games and they haven’t flagged him,” Roethlisberger said. “So I just think it was him and it was L.Bell on Thanksgiving and everybody’s watching, I think they were on notice.”

During his Tuesday press conference, Tomlin was asked if he indeed talked to the team again about post-score celebrations following the game against the Colts..

“You know I didn’t,” said Tomlin. “We’ve already discussed and discussed it wholey. Obviously, we had a setback in that area, but I don’t think it requires additional discussion.”

Well, there you go. Roethlisberger says Tomlin talked about celebrations on Monday and the head coach denied he addressed the topic on Tuesday. Whatever the case, hopefully we won’t see any more of these unnecessary penalties moving forward.

The Steelers will once again play in primetime this coming Sunday when they host the New York Giants at Heinz Field and if Roethlisberger’s suspicions are indeed correct, Brown better be careful should he ultimately score in that game.

  • treeher

    I totally get the penalties for sexually suggestive stuff (albeit refs haven’t exactly been consistent) but to penalize players for harmless celebrating like this past Thursday is absurd. I don’t know why the team owners and managers allow these rules to be made.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    What a bunch of BS, these refs have obviously targeted AB as I have seen teams and players do much, much more. At this point, AB should just walk over to the nearest ref, flip him the ball and salute him. Even behaving so respectfully, I bet you a beer the ref will still flag him and claim he was taunting the bloody ref! Unbelievable crap!

  • george

    Well I’m glad the NFL has a firm grasp on the importnant things like excessive celebrations. Now if they could just figure out what a catch is……………………………….

  • RickM

    I don’t understand how two leaders on a team have totally different memories about something that happened yesterday. I believe Roethlisberger as he’s presenting his coach in a positive light, ‘he talked to us about it’. Tomlin is probably saying “no” because he realizes he should have laid down the law months ago, or he doesn’t like the media suggesting what he needs to do. All his denial does is set him up for criticism if it happens again.

    I don’t understand why MT continually makes himself appear to be a bad coach on simple issues like this. A basic, ‘it’s unacceptable and yes I talked to them again about it’ would put him in a better light.

  • cencalsteeler

    Simple fix…..stop doing it.
    Any choreographed celebration with teammates is an automatic penalty, so primetime or not, it’s going to be flagged.

  • CodeNameJerk

    If they can’t see how that penalty hurt the team vs the Colts they’re never gonna stop.

  • Drizzle97

    It’s NOT supposed to be when it’s on the sidelines!

  • steelcityinny

    I think the rule is stupid, but it is there and the referees have the authority based on their own interpretation to enforce it. And yes, the Refs want air time in big games. But the bottom line is, it has happened enough, it is stupid to keep taking penalties and hurt your team. So simply score a touchdown, give the ref the ball and go to the sideline and dance your ass off behind the bench.

  • VaDave

    Bingo. Look, I may come of like an old fart with this, but really these celebrations do nothing for me. When one calculates just how much time these guys are actually engaged in play ( a play lasts about 4 seconds for about 35 plays a game, times 16 games a year to put things into perspective) divided by their salary, for that kind of jack, these guys should be doing handsprings for the whole 3 1/2 hours they are on the field. Seriously, they need to act like they have done it before.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    The absolute truth! The Sunday night game featured defensive players doing patty cake and no flags. It’s just petty as hell. We did these celebrations all last year and no flags.

  • David lewis

    Come on man!!! They have half ass naked women shake their asses out there and they want to penalize a.b for sexually suggestive dance and he did two pumps not three lol.

  • srdan

    I don’t mind most rules as long as they are consistent. And I think most fans are on board with that.

    The rules I more disagree with changing the flow of the game like moving kick offs up, and a touch back to the 25. Or an extra point going to the 25 yard line or whatever it is.

    The celebration thing tends to have a generational gap. I like it. Heck if you’re good enough to get 3 in one game, I’d be dancing like a pip out there too.

  • Bryan Ischo

    If you give the players an inch they’ll take a mile. The NFL knows that. So they clamp down hard from time to time to send the message. Seems fine to me.

  • Bryan Ischo

    That would not get a flag And AB should just stop with the stupid antics and then we won’t even have to have this discussion.

  • Bryan Ischo

    Yeah I agree with everything you said there, and have felt the same way for some time now.

  • Dorian James

    I agree with you and Bryan,it is BS. But at the same time AB needs to recognize these 15-yard penalties are hurting us and just stop altogether, if he wants to take a stand against what the refs are doing to him he should do it off the field not during the game when it can come back to bite us

  • Steelers12

    NO FUN LEAGUE

  • 20Stoney

    Tomlin doesn’t want to come out and say “I keep telling him to stop, but he ignores me.”

  • Disqussant

    The penalty should be assessed on the field goal or two-point conversion. That’ll stop it.

  • Daniel

    patriots always celebrate and no flags..they even have like 4 guys dancing around no flags

  • SubSuper Dave!

    celebrate-gate…the evil empire strikes again. the sad part is they get a lot of practice

  • VaDave

    Just saying, but who needs ass shaking women on the sidelines, (or btw, female sideline reporters)? Fans that have lousy football teams.

  • VaDave

    RE: Sad Part… You nailed it!

  • CommonSenseGoneWild

    This is part of the crap the NFL does to just piss off fans. I get the not wanting to rub it in the face of the opponent but come on they have gone to the extreme. The team works together to score so why can’t they celebrate together? The NFL comes across as petty.

  • TrappenWeisseGuy ;

    How many times does this guy need to be penalized to get it through his thick skull?. This rule has been around for several years, not several weeks. Fortunately for us Santonio was smart enough to move his celebrations off the field or there might only be 5 rings in the case. I can’t believe this has happened more than one time with him.

  • Tim Goetz

    So true

  • Tim Goetz

    He knows the rule, but just doesn’t care if he puts his teammates in a bad position. I understand it’s a dumb rule, but it is a rule. It blows my mind that he takes 15 every time he scores. Blatant disrespect to his teammates and coaches.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    it was bell who got the penalty not ab. so… no. the fact is the refs like to penalize us for stupid crap.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    he did 4 when he was penalized.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    incorrect. choreographed with teammates on the field of play is penalized. on the sidelines it’s not against the rules. announcers even said something along those lines if i recall.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    except they were in the end zone.

  • Steeler-Drew

    It’s bad enough AB did for it a 3rd time under his watch, his answer only makes it worse. Yes he would rather insult other people’s intelligence to avoid making himself look bad even though he looks worse since nobody is buying it. Don’t worry Mikey we all know you are in control and it won’t happen again. And if it does you are really going to lay down the law next time. Maybe he should let Ben handle it while he resumes his duties as a sideline cheerleader. Lol

  • Bryan Ischo

    I think what happens between the whistles is fun to watch. Don’t you?

  • Tim Goetz

    The fact is? It’s the refs fault? Keep apologizing for him. When it loses a game for us, I bet you have a different opinion.