National Football League Commissioner Paul Tagliabue says players will continue to be disciplined for unsportsmanlike conduct.
The commissioner warned players that harsher discipline for over-the-top demonstrations are on the way. He said unsportsmanlike conduct would draw stronger penalties and fines, even leaving open the possibility of suspensions.
During his state of the NL address in Houston, Tagliabue said coaches and team owners have urged him "to take that stuff out of the game."
He said the NFL Players' Association and the league's competition committee will discuss stronger punishment for stunts such as pulling out a cell phone in the end zone after a touchdown. The New Orleans Saints' Joe Horn did exactly that on national television during a Sunday night game; the team was fined $30,000.
Two years ago, San Francisco's Terrell Owens pulled a pen out of his sock and autographed a football after scoring a touchdown, prompting a warning from Tagliabue to all teams that similar acts would be punished.