The TikToks haven’t stopped and neither has the Steelers’ losing streak.
Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster stuck true to his word prior to the Steelers’ 27-17 loss in Cincinnati Monday, posting a TikTok of him dancing on the Bengals’ logo and writing, “They told to stop dancing on the logo and not to be yourself so….”
The mid-field mockery on opponents’ logos, which started in early November, has seemingly handed Steelers foes the extra motivation they’ve needed to beat his team. The Steelers lost to Washington and Buffalo in consecutive weeks before shockingly falling to the Bengals — and just like that, an 11-0 start has disintegrated to 11-3.
“One thing I’ll tell you guys, I’m not going to stop being myself,” Smith-Schuster, 24, told reporters Wednesday, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I’m going to be the JuJu I came in to be: authentic.”
The Bengals’ official Twitter account posted a clip of Smith-Schuster getting decked by Cincinnati safety Vonn Bell, who broke up the pass late in the first quarter.
Cincinnati wasn’t the first team to publicly take notice of Smith-Schusters’ logo dancing. The Bills, who hosted the Steelers in Week 14, were clearly ticked off by the USC product and quarterback Josh Allen even mentioned the dancing in his pregame tunnel speech.
“Let them do all the talking and the f—kng dancing… we do all the work,” Allen was heard saying in a video posted by the Bills Twitter account.
The Bills went on to take a 26-15 win and were celebrating the victory with a similar dance to Smith-Schuster’s on the sideline early in the fourth quarter.
“I ain’t going to lie. Seeing them dancing on our logo pregame and seeing all that, that turns you up a little bit,” Bills defensive back Jordan Poyer told New York Upstate after the game. “It kind of gives you a little second itch to come out and play with some extra fire.”
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that he would have a conversation with Smith-Schuster, but did not view the antics as “legitimate” motivation for opponents.