After a 95-yard TD catch-and-run near the end of the first half in a 25-24 loss against Hamilton on Thursday, Edmonton receiver D’haquille Williams did a little endzone breakdance before playing a game of hot potato with his teammates.
Moments later, Natey Adjei grabbed a television microphone and began mock interviewing him on the sidelines. Those actions probably would have earned Williams objectionable-conduct penalties last week.
But the CFL announced Thursday — just in time for Edmonton’s game against Hamilton — that it was relaxing the rule regarding the use of props when celebrating touchdowns. They can now be used if they are not hidden in a player’s uniform or in the goal posts. The celebration can’t be demeaning, discriminatory, simulate firing a weapon or “unduly delay the game.”
Williams believes he was the catalyst for the sudden rule change.
“I was the only receiver getting penalties so I guess I played a big part in it,” said Williams, who has a league-leading 947 receiving yards and seven TD catches.
“I’m glad they passed that rule, so we can really have fun with it.”
Last week, Williams was penalized after crawling through an endzone advertising sandwich board following a touchdown reception in a 40-24 win over Montreal. He was also penalized on July 7 against Toronto in a 20-17 loss for using his hand towel in a celebration.
Watch below: Some videos from Global News’ coverage of the Edmonton Eskimos in 2018.
Under the new revised rule, those celebrations would have been allowed.
Williams said he didn’t expect a rule change so quickly, but credits CFL fans for applying the pressure.
“The fans definitely were fighting, and I felt they played a big part in it too,” he said. “So big ups to our fans. Big ups to the fans around the league as well, from every team ? Without their voice, we’d still be getting penalties.”
Williams said his celebrations are done on the spur of the moment, but the relaxed rules may change that.
“They passed the rule now, so we’re going to have fun with it, definitely,” he said with a smile.
“We’ve got a lot of big plans now. Very exciting.”