NFL Taunting Rule Needs To Go

The National Football League has a knack for getting things wrong. Not all the time, but when it comes to the new taunting rule, someone fumbled the bag. The rule actually isn't new but it became relevant again this offseason when referees were asked to reinforce it.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported back on Aug. 10 that two taunting violations will result in an automatic ejection with fines and suspensions that could follow. Competition committee chairman Rich McKay said coaches had brought it up after last season ended and it never lost traction, bringing it back to focus in 2021. 

"The NFL Players Association, coaches and competition committee have all made a strong statement regarding respect among everyone on the field," McKay said in the video. "We saw an increase in actions that clearly are not within the spirit and intent of this rule is not representative of the respect to opponents and others on the field. Game officials have been instructed to strictly enforce the taunting rules, and players and coaches are reminded that two taunting penalties committed by an individual player will result in automatic disqualification. In addition, the taunting player may be fined and/or suspended depending on the severity of the actions."

I'm probably not the only person who said that when the NFL got rid of touchdown celebrations, it was a detriment to the game and the entertainment product. They quickly reversed that rule due to public pushback and I feel like the same will happen here. I mean, who didn't love this play from Antoine Winfield Jr in the Super Bowl last year.


Last Sunday we saw a total of eight taunting penalties and all of them were harmless. Here are a few.

Confused, right? 

This just doesn't make any sense. In what world can you get in trouble for making a great play and getting your team and fans jacked up? Oh, that's right. The NFL. I hope the league realizes that taunting pretty much falls under the same category as celebrating (or at least could be argued that way) so they need to change this rule and fast before it happens in crucial moments for some players and teams.

Photo credit: © Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

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