When Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster met with the media at this time last week his overriding sentiment was: All I wanna do is dance. Today, he was singing a different tune.
Asked about his pregame logo dancing—and whether Vonn Bell’s splattering, fumble-inducing hit made him reevaluate his priorities—Smith Schuster pointed out that he has been dancing at midfield since before the team’s three-game losing streak got underway.
“I’m not going to change the person that I am,” he offered, before suddenly sounding like a player who has had a sit-down with Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. (On Tuesday, Tomlin indicated that he planned to “talk” with his fourth-year receiver.)
“I think it’s getting to the point where my teammates are being asked this question and my coach is being asked this question and …. for the betterment of myself and my teammates, I’m going to stop dancing on the logos.”
JuJu Smith-Schuster: ‘I Don’t Want to be a Distraction’
Asked by Will Graves of the Associated Press if he would dance somewhere else before the game, Smith-Schuster clarified and said: “Honestly, I don’t want to be a distraction to anybody—my team or the other team. Like I said … if it’s getting to the point where you guys are asking my teammates and coaches there’s no point. Ideally, I’ll probably just do everything in-house.”
Smith-Schuster also tried to emphasize that he meant no disrespect with the logo dancing, even though members of three teams—the Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals—said publicly that they regarded it as such. He insists the dances are for “my fans” on social media, of which there are many, as he has 2.6 million followers on TikTok.
As for the jarring hit delivered by Bengals safety Vonn Bell, Smith-Schuster conceded that “It was a good hit. I’ll give it to him. The timing, where he was at, where I was at, me catching the football, he made a great hit. I can’t knock him for that. He’s a great safety.”
JuJu Smith-Schuster’s Teammates React
Meanwhile, Smith-Schuster’s teammates are probably somewhat relieved that he has decided (or agreed) to stop dancing, even if “@TeamJuJu dancing is the LEAST of our problems,” as Steelers cornerback Joe Haden put it.
“I’d rather you’d dance over the Super Bowl logo when we’re done,” said Steelers defensive captain Cameron Heyward during his media session on Wednesday, who indicated that the team needs to refocus in order to restore its winning ways. “Let’s get focused on football, let’s get back to winning,” he concluded.
Zach Banner’s ‘Flashdance’
Anyway, if you’re a Steelers fan and you really want to watch a player dance, honestly you’ll probably get a lot more joy from watching 6-foot-8 offensive tackle Zach Banner at the Steelers fashion show in 2019.
Or watch his full-length send-up of ‘Flashdance’ [immediately below] which he posted online just prior to training camp. Unlike JuJu Smith-Schuster’s dancing, Banner’s efforts have been met with almost uniformly positive reaction on social media.
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