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Mike Pereira calls loosening of end-zone celebration rules “a step back”

The NFL made the right call in allowing players to have some celebrations after big plays, despite some criticism.

The NFL has loosened its touchdown celebration rules, but not everyone is celebrating. Bengals coach Marvin Lewis now has company in arguing the move is a bad idea.

Fox analyst Mike Pereira, the league’s former head of officiating, calls the move “a step back.”

“I think it’s a sad day,” Pereira said, via Clark Judge of Talk of Fame Network. “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.

“This is not allowed in college. It’s not allowed in high school. It’s not allowed in Pop Warner. But now we set the tone as supposedly the idols, and kids are going to watch these acts again. And, to me, this is about the team, not the individual. They’re going to play to ESPN to see if they can get on the highlights. To me, it’s just a real step backward.”

Group celebrations, using the ball as a prop, going to the ground and snow angels now are all legal in the end zone following a score. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett and Ravens coach John Harbaugh pushed for the easing of the rules, but Lewis, who is on the league’s competition committee, opposed the change saying it is “not a very good example for young people.”

Pereira said officials likely stop throwing flags for touchdown celebrations.

“You’re not going to see many penalties thrown for celebrations. Period,” Pereira said. “Unless it’s the absolute obvious twerking or the shooting of the six-guns.”