Watt: My salute is a tribute, not a taunt

J.J. Watt can be counted on for two things: Sacks and salutes.

After every sack, the Texans’ defensive end salutes the crowd, and given that he recorded 20.5 last season, the sack-salute combo happens often.

With the NFL announcing they will be strongly enforcing their anti-taunting rule, could Watt’s signature be going away?

According to Watt in an interview with the Houston Chronicle, his salute is not a taunt, but a tribute to honor the United States service men and women.

“I do my salute as a sign of respect and appreciation to the military,” Watt said. “When I was in Afghanistan [on a USO tour] I had soldiers tell me they appreciated me showing them respect. That’s what it’s for.”

But, according to the rule book, a military salute, along with spinning the ball and other types of celebration, counts as illegal taunting. Watt added, “I think it’s kind of a bad deal if they’re going to take away something I’m trying to show respect to the people who protect this country and allow us to play this game.”

Thankfully, Watt shouldn’t have to worry because he does not direct his celebration at any player, just the the crowd watching