NFL clarifies legal touchdown celebrations: Snow angels are in, twerking is out

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Last season NFL players who celebrated touchdowns by using the ball as a prop or performing a snow angel would have been penalised. That will not be the case from next season.

The NFL on Tuesday clarified its rules surrounding celebration penalties, which have regularly seen the league attract criticism in recent years.

Having consulted with players past and present, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced that players will be allowed to use the ball as a prop and celebrate by going to ground or by performing group demonstrations.

However, penalties like the one Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown received for 'twerking' last campaign will remain. The NFL stated that "offensive demonstrations" will still be punished. 

"We know that you love the spontaneous displays of emotion that come after a spectacular touchdown," Goodell said in a statement.

"And players have told us they want more freedom to be able to express themselves and celebrate their athletic achievements. 

"In my conversations with NFL players, it was also clear how much our players care about sportsmanship, clean competition, and setting good examples for young athletes. 

"That is why offensive demonstrations, celebrations that are prolonged and delay the game, and those directed at an opponent, will still be penalised.

"We know we have more work to do. We are grateful to the many current and retired players who engaged with us on this topic and we look forward to ongoing dialogue with them as we continue to work to improve this game we all love."