High School Football Player Ejected For Imitating Carolina Panthers Quarterback Cam Newton

By Ben Grimaldi

When I was growing up, I used to play sports with my friends in the yard and we would all imitate our favorite players. Apparently, imitation being the sincerest form of flattery doesn’t fly in the state of North Carolina for high school sports.

The Charlotte Observer reports that West Mecklenburg High School quarterback Jalan McClendon was ejected from the game for unsportsmanlike conduct for doing the Cam Newton ‘Superman’ pose after scoring a touchdown.

Wow, it seems pretty excessive to eject someone for celebrating a little bit after scoring a touchdown. It’s not like he did a dance or had some elaborate celebration, he only pretended to pull open his shirt and show the Superman symbol.

I suppose he could have just dropped the ball or handed it to the official but where’s the fun in that? People play sports for fun; it’s a game used as a distraction from everything else in life, so I see nothing wrong with having a little fun!

I’ve long hated the NFL rules that limit the celebration a player can have if it doesn’t show up the other team. Let these guys who have worked so hard for what they’ve accomplished have some fun. After all, isn’t it an entertainment business? Let them entertain!

The NFL also aggravates me with their celebration rules because they are very hypocritical. Some things are allowed but others are not, which I am baffled by. Taking your helmet off is not allowed, but jumping into the stands is? You can dance after a big play but using the football in any way as a prop is cause for a penalty, except when Stephen Jackson pretends to blow it up after scoring a touchdown, then it’s fine. The NFL rules make zero sense and I believe players should be able to celebrate anyway they want as long as it doesn’t embarrass their opponent.

This story goes to the high school level where they are trying to teach young players the right way to play the game and I have no problem with that. However, I think this penalty was far too excessive and the kids should be allowed to have some fun.

After all, most high school players never go behind that level of playing and they should be allowed to have more fun than the professional athletes. If there’s no fun in high school sports, why play at all?

Regardless of how anyone feels about Jalan McClendon being ejected for celebrating, the point is the same, if you’re going to play sports, the game needs to be fun. Otherwise, it’s like you’re working, and who wants to do that?

you can follow Ben on twitter @BenGrimaldi

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