NFL to ‘strictly enforce’ taunting rules this season, possible suspend players
The NFL on Tuesday released its annual video explaining rule changes and points of emphasis. One of the biggest takeaways is that players had better think twice before taunting opponents this season.
One section of the five-minute video explained how the NFL has instructed officials to be less tolerant of taunting. Two taunting penalties will result in an automatic disqualification, which has always been the case. The NFL says players could also face fines and suspensions.
“We saw an increase in actions that clearly are not within the spirit and intent of this rule and not representative of the respect to opponents and others on the field,” the video stated. “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.”
There haven’t been any rule changes with taunting, but the NFL feels it became a league-wide issue last season. Because of that, we may see more unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in 2021.
Many fans feel that gestures like this are all in good fun and make the game more entertaining. The NFL apparently does not agree.