Beware, The Celebratory Butt Grope

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Especially in Iran.

In a matter of seconds, a victory celebration of a game-winning soccer goal turned into a crime punishable by a public lashing for two Iranian soccer stars.

Mohammad Nosrati and Sheys Rezaei, who played with the Tehran club “Persepolis,”  jumped on a pile of their teammates following the goal Saturday at the Sardar Jangal Stadium in Rasht, a town to the northwest of Tehran. But then the players engaged in what Iranian authorities called  “immoral acts,” as Nosrati groped Rezaei’s butt as Rezaei balanced in the air.

Now, members of parliament, sports officials and judges have called for punishment for Nosrati and Rezaei, according to the Fars News Agency.

Iran’s football federation  suspended both players and fined them nearly $40,000 each, Fars reported. But public officials have tried to take it further, calling for the players to end their careers forever.

In a matter of seconds, a victory celebration of a game-winning soccer goal turned into a crime punishable by a public lashing for two Iranian soccer stars.

Mohammad Nosrati and Sheys Rezaei, who played with the Tehran club “Persepolis,”  jumped on a pile of their teammates following the goal Saturday at the Sardar Jangal Stadium in Rasht, a town to the northwest of Tehran. But then the players engaged in what Iranian authorities called  “immoral acts,” as Nosrati groped Rezaei’s butt as Rezaei balanced in the air.

Now, members of parliament, sports officials and judges have called for punishment for Nosrati and Rezaei, according to the Fars News Agency.

Iran’s football federation  suspended both players and fined them nearly $40,000 each, Fars reported. But public officials have tried to take it further, calling for the players to end their careers forever.

A judiciary official told Fars that Nosrati and Rezaei could also face public lashings, to be carried out on the soccer field where the behavior occurred.

According to an Iranian judge, the offending action “can be considered a violation of public chastity,” the news agency reported. “The punishment of this crime is prison up to two months and 74 lashes.”

Here’s the infamous butt grope:



While I obviously don’t condone either player being punished, I think Rezaei is particularly hard done by. I mean all he did was jump up on his teammates in celebration. His butt happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time – within reach of Nosrati’s mischievous fingers. It’s not as if he painted a sign on his buttocks saying “Goose me!”

In any event, both players should realize it could be worse.

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