The NFL has been cracking down on excessive touchdown celebrations this year, flagging players for unsportsmanlike conduct, fining participating players, and assessing a 15 yard penalty.
In the 2013 NFL season, referees penalized teams 54 times for unsportsmanlike conduct. In the 2016 season, through week 12, there have already been 54 penalties assessed, this increase is mostly due to touchdown celebrations earlier in the season.
We were curious what fans thought of this new rule enforcement, so we partnered with Google Consumer Surveys and polled 765 NFL fans to determine sentiment towards this increase.
Do you think the NFL is too strict about touchdown celebrations?
- Yes, the celebrations are part of the game
- No, current rules promote good sportsmanship
- Fans across the board are evenly split – 49% of NFL fans feel that touchdown celebrations are part of the game and should be allowed. 51% feel that the current rules promote better sportsmanship.
- Women feel more strongly than men that the current restrictions on TD celebrations are better for the game.
- Older NFL fans feel much stronger than younger fans that the NFL is doing the right thing by penalizing touchdown celebrations.
50.6% of NFL fans felt the new rule enforcement supports good sportsmanship, while 49.4% felt that the NFL should let players celebrate as part of the game.
An even split across the board. But once we dove into demographic data, things started getting interesting.
Women feel that the current rules promote good sportsmanship 54.5% of the time while 45.6% feel that the NFL should let players celebrate more. 53.7% of men, on the other hand, feel that the NFL is too strict with the rules.
The biggest split, however, came between age groups.
58.6% of those people 45+ years old replied that they prefer the current enforcement, and that the current rules support good sportsmanship. 57.9% of those 18-24 years old responded that they feel the NFL is too strict with the new rules and that players should be allowed to celebrate more.
Older NFL Fans (45+):
Younger NFL Fans (18-24):
What are your thoughts about NFL touchdown celebrations? Let us know in the comments below.