The NFL taunting rule is here to stay amidst criticism
The league has been critical of players' actions during games that result in violent plays and is trying to bring emotions down.
The NFL has for some time tried to better its image. This year, the league celebrated and welcomed the LGBTQ community by changing their logo during Pride Month. Moreover, they also allowed players to wear whichever number their preferred, a rule change that only allowed players to wear a certain number based on their position on the field, a rule change that Tom Brady has heavily criticized.
Most notably, the most significant rule change or enforcement of actually is the taunting one. A habit prohibited by the league and penalized during the game with the loss of yards. This particular rule has been around for some time but has never really been enforce as it should be, or at least that's what the league wants to rectify this season.
A total of 11 taunting penalties have been called this season in just the first two weeks. This equals all the taunting penalties called last season.
Harsh criticism to penalties for taunting
Coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks has been critical of the league for enforcing this rule in quite the manner that is doing it. For him, it "opened up a bit of a can of worms." as it calls for players to adapt their behaviors while their emotions rise high during the game.
"You've got a lot of guys that have to deal with those explosive moments, and they've got to really turn their focus away from the opponent. It's a good thought. It's just hard to manage it." The coach said this Monday to reporters.
During their weekend game against the Tennessee Titans, the Seahawks were penalized after cornerback D.J. Reed successfully stopped a pass and pumped his arms up while looking at receiver A.J. Brown. A normal celebration in past years, but unfortunately for the Hawks, in this 2021 NFL, this is taunting. The play could have caused the Seattle team to lose in OT to the Titans.
"Come on, man," strong safety Jamal Adams said after the game. "You're taking the passion and the emotions out of the game of football. At the end of the day, that's the rule. We have to play smarter."