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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Gerald McCoy on emotion in NFL: 'We've got handcuffs on'



Bucs DT Gerald McCoy is grateful the NFL is allowing players to wear customized cleats Sunday in support of personal causes -- his is in support of single parents -- but at the same time, he's frustrated that emotional, spontaneous celebration isn't encouraged more by the league.

"We don't get a chance to express ourselves a lot. That's why so many fines are going on, a lot of flags going on. We've got handcuffs on," McCoy said. "I don't mind saying that, because that's what I believe. I believe the NFL's put handcuffs on us and not letting us express ourselves. It's very hard to make a play in the NFL and to do it consistently. Doing it once, that emotion comes out."

McCoy said he remembers when he was drafted, and commissioner Roger Goodell spoke to the top draft picks about wanting them to show emotion about being in the NFL -- McCoy gave the commissioner a big bear hug when his name was announced, as is now the norm for top picks.

"Roger Goodell himself told my class when we were in his office to show emotion on draft day," he said. "To be able to express how you feel playing this game, to show the joy and excitement you get from having the opportunity to play in the NFL. When guys are doing that and getting flagged for it, it's like 'What type of sense does that make?' It's not like anyone is flipping the bird to fans. Guys are just dancing, whatever it may be, just excitement from making a play. ... It takes the fun out of the game. You don't know what you can and can't do anymore."

[Last modified: Thursday, December 1, 2016 12:46pm]


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