NFL officials will penalize taunting more in 2021

·1 min read

Prepare to see more flags during NFL games soon. The league's officials will crack down harder on taunting in 2021, according to the NFL's competition committee report chairman Rich McKay.

Coaches aren't worried about team touchdown celebrations. They want officials to focus on players going face-to-face, standing over each other or pointing fingers after big plays.

McKay said NFL coaches asked for this change.

Why is the NFL cracking down on taunting?

It's unclear why coaches wanted taunting to be a point of emphasis. It's possible they felt taunting could lead to fights or more personal fouls later in the game.

While that's a fair concern, the move could have more negative consequences on teams. At what point does a referee deem a celebration after a big play a taunt? Breaking up a pass and holding up a peace sign resulted in a penalty in the Super Bowl, but Tyreek Hill's peace sign touchdown celebration did not draw a penalty flag in the regular season. Will both be penalties now? There's a chance cracking down on taunting could erase some huge plays depending on how the rule is written.

Even if the coaches have good intentions with the rule, the promise of more flags on the field isn't encouraging.

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