One week after saying he would not stop dancing on opposing teams’ midfield logos before games for videos to be posted on his TikTok account, Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster has changed his tune, saying that he does not want to be a distraction to his team.
Head coach Mike Tomlin said on Tuesday that he would have a conversation with the 24-year-old wide receiver about the practice of performing a dance on the midfield logo before pregame warmups on game days, something Smith-Schuster has been doing all season.
But it’s become a talking point in recent weeks as members of the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals pointed toward Smith-Schuster’s dancing as additional motivation for their games, both of which were lost by the Steelers.
“I was dancing when we were undefeated,” Smith-Schuster said. “I was dancing when we lost our three games. Now, I’m not going to change the person who I am. I think it’s getting to the point where my teammates are being asked this question, my coach is being ask this question. I saw it more as no intention of disrespect and just more intentions of my fans. I’m big on social media, the positive and, doing stuff like that, you get the positive and negative. So, for the betterment of myself and my teammates, I’m gonna stop dancing on logos.”
Smith-Schuster emphasized that he felt his dancing becoming a talking point in the media and questions being asked to his teammates and coaches about it was the inflection point for him changing his mind about the practice.
“I don’t want to be a distraction to anybody, my team, or, the other team,” he said. “Like I said, it’s just for the betterment [of the team]. If it’s getting to the point where you guys are asking my teammates and coaches, there’s no point.”
That was the message that Smith-Schuster said was passed to him from Tomlin, as well.
“With Coach Tomlin the conversation what we had was, you know, very similar to what we said, you know, the betterment of the team,” Smith-Schuster said. “You know, when I heard that he was getting asked this question, I heard my teammates were getting asked this question, I felt like, I don’t want to be distraction I think, what I need to do, what I can do to help my offense is just to be more positive and to put points on the board.”