Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin says he’ll talk to wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster about dancing on opposing team’s midfield logo, but did not specifically say that he will prohibit him from doing so.
Smith-Schuster has been dancing on midfield logos before games and putting the videos on his social media accounts all season. It did not seem to be an issue until the Steelers’ trip to Buffalo in Week 14, when Bills quarterback Josh Allen made it a part of his pregame message to his team before facing the Steelers.
“The recipe is simple, guys,” Allen said. “Let them do all the (expletive) talking and all the dancing, and we do the work.”
Before the Steelers’ game against Cincinnati on Monday, Bengals safety Von Bell called Smith-Schuster’s dance routine “disrespectful” and then went out and rocked the Steelers wide receiver with a huge hit that caused him to fumble, one of three first-half turnovers by the Pittsburgh offense that helped spot Cincinnati a 17-0 lead.
.@Vonn knocks it out from Pittsburgh TikTok star.
WATCH on ESPN pic.twitter.com/n4BNZHcJ0J
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) December 22, 2020
Tomlin was first asked about Smith-Schuster’s dancing after the Buffalo game, when he said he was unaware of it, but downplayed any potential impact it might have when it comes to the results of the games being played. Smith-Schuster said during the week leading up to the Bengals game that he wasn’t going to stop having fun before games.
“I’m not going to stop being myself,” Smith-Schuster said. “I’m going to be the Juju I’ve came in to be — authentic. TikTok is a new platform that I’ve used to touch my fans and grow. This is something I’ve been doing, since the start of the season, mid season. I even did it on a Cowboys logo. So it’s like, it’s not not just their logo, but the Steelers logo and, and I’m trying to just keep doing it, you know. I’m just having fun doing myself. … So, yeah, I’m not gonna stop doing it.”
Tuesday, Tomlin said that he would talk to Smith-Schuster about continuing the trend, but did not specifically say that the would bar him from dancing on teams’ logos in the futures.
“I do plan to talk to JuJu, but we are professionals,” Tomlin said. “I doubt any of those antics and things of that nature are legitimate motivating factors as you step into professional stadiums, but it is about respect. We’ll have a conversation, but I understand it is about the quality of play inside the white lines. I’m not seeking comfort or looking for excuses based on our recent performances on things that occur pregame or things of that nature that are social media-related.”
The Steelers play at home on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts and finish their regular-season road schedule with a trip to Cleveland next week. The Browns have not painted a midfield logo on their playing surface at FirstEnergy Stadium this season.