For some strange bizarre reason, the NFL passed a new taunting rule for the upcoming season, and let’s just say the interpretation of this rule is ridiculous.
During a game between the Carolina Panthers and Indianapolis Colts, Colts running Benny LeMay dragged several panthers players with him on an impressive 14-yard run. However, when he got up from his run, he barely flexed his arms a bit in front of a Panthers defender. That didn’t sit well with the referee who completely overacted and flagged LeMay immediately for a 15-yard penalty for taunting.
The renewed effort to enforce taunting rules will target “baiting or taunting acts or words” and “abusive, threatening or insulting language or gestures” toward players, coaches, and game officials, as defined by the N.F.L.’s unsportsmanlike conduct rules.
While I understand the NFL wants to keep things somewhat clean, might I remind the NFL that their league plays football, not beach volleyball. Football, like basketball, is an emotional sport, and at times players pull of plays that go beyond what is normally possible, this often results in players getting excited, and what’s wrong with that? Personally, I want to see a little taunting, because it makes the game even more intriguing.
The reality is the NFL preseason is often the time referees iron out new rules and I’m willing to bet that during the regular season we won’t see taunting calls like the one Benny Lemay was called for.