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#pounditSaturday, January 22, 2022

NFL doubles down on controversial Cassius Marsh taunting penalty

Cassius Marsh taunting the Steelers

The NFL is not backing down over the controversial taunting penalty handed to Chicago Bears linebacker Cassius Marsh on Monday. In fact, they’re doing the exact opposite.

According to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com, the league has fined Marsh $5,972 for unsportsmanlike conduct in Monday’s loss to the Steelers. Marsh intends to appeal the fine.

It’s quite the statement considering how unpopular the call was at the time. The Bears were fuming after Marsh was flagged for taunting for essentially staring down the Pittsburgh sideline without even saying anything. The league had already made clear that, in its view, that was the dictionary definition of taunting.

The league has made clear that taunting will be a point of emphasis for referees this season, and that has certainly been the case. However, a lot of fans dislike it, and one coach has even been critical of it. If nothing else, this punishment is clear evidence that the NFL will not be backing down on that emphasis, like it or not.

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