WASHINGTON — Josh Norman offered some explosive comments in calling out the NFL for its double standards.
During an interview with Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier on 106.7 The Fan, Norman was asked Thursday if he’s noticed more attention on him this season since becoming the highest paid corner in the NFL.
“You know, the thing is, I’ve always been that way my whole life,” Norman said of reveling in the spotlight. “So nothing has changed in that aspect.”
Norman then brought up the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty he drew, and for which he was later fined, for firing an imaginary bow and arrow in Week 4 against the Browns.
“I think that [if] anything, the eyes have been magnified more so for my contract,” he said. “I think that has been magnified into what we do and how we do it, and the NFL’s looking more into us and how we do things on a football field.”
“Hey! They took my darned bow and arrow away from me!” Norman shouted. “And a couple guys have been doing it for years! And, now all of a sudden I do it, can’t do it no more. I’m trying to understand that one, still. It’s just been a lot of other things that have been coming up to where, you know, we just got to overcome the adversity that strike us and be better, and we will be, and continue to get Ws. That’s all that matters at the end of the day. Win.”
Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks does a similar bow-and-arrow celebration when he scores, and although he’s yet to be fined for it, he simply says he’s not changing it. The Bible, Cooks says, served as the inspiration for his celebration.
The NFL’s rules on unsportsmanlike conduct are purposely vague, but penalizing a player for expressing his religious beliefs might put the league in an uncomfortable predicament.
“I have my reasons as to why I shoot it, too, you know?” Norman said. “And I think everybody has a justified reason, and our reason is not to hurt nobody or to demonstrate that we’re trying to shoot something. I mean, nah, man. It’s not even that.
“I mean [Cooks] has more of a spiritual about his and why he do it, and I have more of a cultural balance about why I do things, and how I grew up and my whole ties to me and my life and what it means to me. I think everybody has their own way in how and why they do things, but I don’t think nothing is, you know, we’re trying to hurt nobody or try to shoot something.
“Like, c’mon, man. Like, let’s get out of that,” he said. “I think people in that office is just, they always want to find something to stick us with and it’s just sad we’ve come to this, but that’s what it is and we’re going to continue to fight it, man.”
Asked if the league choosing to make an example out of him is more a Redskins thing or a Josh Norman thing, Norman said he doesn’t know.
“I think it’s more a lot of combinations of things,” he said. “Can I put my hand on one thing and say, ‘This is it’? No, I can’t. It’s just been crazy, man. It’s been really a whirlwind.”
“I think we have a double standard as a league,” he added. “We say want to be PG [rated] or whatever television show we showing, but at the same time we’re selling beer on TV shows when kids [are] watching. So it’s kind of like, well dang, if that’s the case and that’s good, why can’t we have fun within the game? I mean it’s a barbaric sport. So if you want to be a double standard, like, c’mon, man. Let’s be realistic here. You want to have things the way you want it, but then again, when it comes to us, we can’t have the things we want. It don’t even make any sense. It’s stupid in a way to a point where… like, who is running the ship? And why are we allowing things to happen like that that shouldn’t be? That’s kind of how I feel.”
Norman was also asked if he’ll keep slinging his imaginary arrows.
“Hey, man. I’m gonna work something into it, to where if I have something big on a play, they might just hit me for it,” he said. “I might be like, ‘Screw it.'”
“You know, because the thing is, we’re not trying to hurt nobody,” he said. “We’re trying to do something and do it in the right way, in a good manner. It wasn’t on the sheet where it’ll be a finable offense. Like, bow-and-arrow wasn’t there. We’ve been doing it for years. Why you want to take it away now?”
Paulsen, unaware of any sort of one-sheet listing finable offenses, followed up by asking, “Is there a sheet that they pass out that shows you what you can and can’t do?”
“Yeah, it’s a video board,” Norman said. “Like it’s not even on the video! But then you put it in there once we do it this week to show that we can’t do it any more. C’mon! Like where was this rule before? It didn’t start at the beginning of the year. You’re just now implementing it after one week? It doesn’t even make any sense!
“Like that wasn’t even in there, so why is the fact of the matter that we’re ending up getting flagged and fined for something that wasn’t there. Like I’d understand if it was there before, but it wasn’t. It just got there. So it don’t even make sense to me. It don’t make sense to nobody. The people who was doing obviously was offended and we’re going to continue to try and fight this thing because it’s just stupid.”