With wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster having vowed that he will not be dancing on opponents’ logos during his pre-game routine going forward, the door is now wide open for the Pittsburgh Steelers to begin winning games again. But are there other issues that have been hindering the team’s success, other than whether or not a player did a short dance on a football field? His teammates seem to think so.
Both captains Ben Roethlisberger and Cameron Heyward were asked on Wednesday about the 24-year-old doing his TikTok videos before games after a small handful of opponents negatively commented on his decision to dance at midfield on logos, which have been seen as disrespectful.
In typical fashion, the 38-year-old Roethlisberger confessed that he’s not well-versed either in the social media platform in question or in what Smith-Schuster himself is doing on social media, or the reaction to it. He did acknowledge that he was generally aware that head coach Mike Tomlin said he would have a talk with Smith-Schuster, but said of his young teammate, “if he’s not intending for something to be disrespectful, then it’s probably not”.
That’s the same general tone of Heyward’s comment as well, who said, “we’re in 2020—if you can’t dance over a logo, like, what are we talking about? People can’t even go outside right now”. He also offered words of support about Smith-Schuster as a player and teammate, though he said, “I’d rather you dance over the Super Bowl logo when we’re done”.
Clearly, there is a lot of work left to do for this Steelers team, who just a couple of weeks ago were in the driver’s seat for the first seed in the AFC playoffs, but are now no longer in the running, and in fact are still trying to lock up the AFC North. They only need to win one of their final two games to do so, but neither will be easy.
One thing is clear, and that is that even players are divided about this. While evidently some players on teams the Steelers haven’t even faced have been poking fun at Smith-Schuster over the past couple of days, others have defended him and expressed incredulousness over how a dance turned into a national discussion, such as fellow wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, whom Pittsburgh did face in 2020.
Unfortunately, even though he has already said that he won’t be dancing anymore, you know that it is still going to be a story for at least another week. I’m sure Indianapolis Colts players are going to be asked about it by their local media, and they’ll have something about it on the broadcast on Sunday.