This term has been thrown around to refer to the NFL for several years. Back when guys like Chad (OchoCinco) Johnson and Randy Moss were getting flagged for excessive touchdown celebrations. Just as the league loosens the reins on celebrating touchdowns and choreographed team dances, they decide to crack down on the most heinous crime in sports, taunting(HURT FEELINGS).
The league announced in the spring (2021) that they will be making an emphasis on calling taunting penalties to limit the “ill will between teams.” Yes, you read that right, they’re worried that taunting may lead to more ill will than crashing into a guy at full speed, trying to inflict physical pain on him. We have seen this emphasis rear its ugly head already in the way of 10 flags thrown over 2 weeks, just for taunting.
Not sure what the NFL is calling taunting? Don’t worry neither is anybody else, but here are some examples of taunting penalties from Week 2.
Taunting penalties from Sunday pic.twitter.com/JTRVFMoio2
— Ari Meirov (@AriMeirov) September 20, 2021
DISGUSTING! ABHORRENT!! UNACCEPTABLE!!! (insert eye rolling emoji)
Throwing flags on these plays not only has the ability of changing the outcome of games. It also takes two of the most important parts of the game out, and I would argue two reasons why a lot of people watch. Emotion and personality. Emotion is a HUGE part of sports for everyone, fans included. When we see our favorite WR trash talking the DB after a big catch, like we’re trash talking that opposing teams fan at the pub, WE LOVE IT!!!
And if you think fans are the only ones bitching and moaning from our couches at home, you’re wrong. The players hate the rule change too as evidenced by this tweet from the verified NFPLA account.
For those who aren't a fan of the new taunting rule, we aren't either.
Rules like this are adopted through the competition committee, which includes 11 members: 10 selected by the commissioner + 1 NFLPA rep: https://t.co/6qmocdrldQ. pic.twitter.com/M4mvNkrm99
— NFLPA (@NFLPA) September 20, 2021
The NFL knows they can do whatever they want though. Players are under contract, record number of fans are still watching, and will continue to watch. I’m not saying stop watching or to boycott the NFL because of a rule emphasis that I disagree with but I do know the NFL needs to figure this out. Let the players play, us fans don’t want to watch penalty, after penalty all game long. Or at the very least, figure out what taunting is because there is absolutely NO consistency. And by that I mean be more consistent in NOT calling it because frankly, I love seeing stuff like this.
Lamar Jackson front flip for 6️⃣ 🤸🏾
— Inside the NFL (@insidetheNFL) September 20, 2021
To hear more on this topic be sure to check out Episode 30 of the Ball Hawks Podcast – ‘Home Openers, Fantasy Bye Weeks and Derrick Henry’s Hair.’ Also be sure to subscribe and follow the Ball Hawks Podcast throughout the season for all your Baltimore Ravens, Seattle Seahawks and NFL news with new episodes dropping weekly!