JuJu Smith-Schuster has become a target of criticism over the past two weeks for disrespecting his opponents and failing to back it up, and the Pittsburgh Steelers star is finally going to stop.
Smith-Schuster told reporters on Wednesday that he will stop dancing on the opposing team’s logo at midfield “for the betterment of myself and my teammates.” He said he made the decision after realizing how many questions his teammates and coaches were being asked about it.
“For me, honestly, I was dancing when we were undefeated, I was dancing when we lost our three games. I’m not gonna change the person that I am,” Smith-Schuster said, via Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “It’s getting to the point where my teammates are being asked this question, my coaches … I don’t want to be a distraction to anybody.”
The Steelers have lost three straight games after beginning the season 11-0. Smith-Schuster danced on Pittsburgh’s opponent’s midfield logo before each of the last two and shared the videos on his TikTok account. Buffalo Bills players said two weeks ago that they were motivated by the antics, and the same was true for Monday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Smith-Schuster caught just three passes for 15 yards in the Steelers’ 27-17 loss to the Bengals. He was also blown up with a big hit and fumbled in the first quarter.
Smith-Schuster said after the Buffalo game that he was not going to stop dancing, but Mike Tomlin indicated on Monday that he was not happy with the antics. That is likely what led to the change of heart.