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#pounditThursday, October 1, 2020

Brandin Cooks will keep doing bow and arrow celebration, says it is biblical

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New Orleans Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks is well aware that another NFL player was recently fined for pretending to shoot a bow and arrow, but he insists that is not going to stop him from using it as his preferred method of celebration.

Cooks, who has not yet been penalized for the gesture, has vowed to keep it going.

“I’m going to figure it out, but I’m not going to change it,” Cooks told Larry Holder of Nola.com. “The league will have to deal with it. The reason for why I’m doing it and what’s behind why I’m doing it doesn’t have anything to do with violence. So I’m not going to change what I’m doing to satisfy what the league wants. That’s not what I’m here to do.”

Cooks explained last year that the bow and arrow gesture is actually a reference to a Bible verse in which a young boy named Ishmael survived alone in the desert by relying on his bow and arrow skills. Like the throat slash gesture, the NFL has labeled mimicking a bow and arrow a “violent act.” That means it is supposed to result in a 15-yard penalty, though Cooks has been lucky.

A $10,000 fine like the one Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman received is one thing, but costing your team 15 yards is another. Cooks said he won’t let it come to that.

“Well there are different forms of doing it. You just can’t shoot (the arrow),” he said. “I’m still going to pull it out. Whatever happens after that happens. I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize my team, but I’ll figure something out.

The bow and arrow celebration has become Cooks’ signature move, as he refers to himself as “The Archer” and has an Instagram handle of “thearcher10.”

There’s always a gray area when the NFL passes these new rules, and we saw an example of that when Brandon Marshall was almost fined for this celebration last year. Cooks may have to get creative if he doesn’t want to hurt the team.

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