The NFL announced game officials have been instructed to strictly enforce taunting rules for the upcoming 2021 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.”
The NFL seems to want to crack down on potential on field fights and drama. Some amount of taunting is a good thing! Things like trash talk and celebrations directed at certain players engender the kinds of personal beefs that drive interest in a sport. You don’t want those issues escalating to the point of violence, but when two players are going at each other over the course of a game and a season, it makes the viewing experience more enjoyable and keeps the fans engaged on the product.
Rules like these are why fans sometimes calls the NFL “The No Fun League.”