Sport The taunting rule now prohibits “posturing” at the opposing sideline, language of the rulebook be damned
NFL, Mike Tomlin in support of controversial taunting flag that aided Steelers
A day after a taunting flag played a role in the outcome of "Monday Night Football," Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin spoke out in support of the NFL's new emphasis on penalizing infractions. The NFL is likewise reportedly on board with the controversial penalty. “We’re just trying to clean our game up,” Tomlin told reporters at his Tuesday news conference, per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Tomlin, a member of the NFL's competitionThe NFL is likewise reportedly on board with the controversial penalty.
During the season, the most important employee in the league office is the one who helps explain controversial officiating decisions. Currently, that job is occupied by (checks notes) no one.
This week, the league tasked former NFL assistant coach Perry Fewell with basically reading from a teleprompter tofor less than two minutes — and for the first time this season. That package of plays included one of the most controversial calls of the year, the decision to penalize Bears linebacker Cassius Marsh for taunting in the fourth quarter of Monday night’s game at Pittsburgh.
Hey, NFL leadership: Stop worrying about taunting. We can raise the children.
The weird thing we're talking too much about this NFL season is taunting. We've covered a fair bit of it here at For The Win because the calls are so often confusing and disruptive to the flow of the game. Also, it's lame. Playing NAlso, it’s lame. Playing NFL football is incredibly brutal. Players are risking life-altering injury on every play. They suffer 50 impacts every game harder than most of us will ever feel. Let them have a little bit of fun when they succeed.
Fewell provided a conclusory explanation of the play, explaining that referee Tony Corrente properly threw a flag because Marsh was “” at the Pittsburgh sideline.
The relevant language of the rulebook prohibits players from “using baiting or taunting acts or words that may engender ill will between teams.” In April, Competition Committee chairman Rich McKay explained that taunting would become a point of emphasis in order to eliminate “the face to face, the pointing of fingers, the standing over players on the ground.”
Marsh did none of that. However, the league’s wagon-circling around Corrente’s bizarre call (and even more bizarre hip check) now makes “posturing” a penalty, language of the rulebook be damned.
NFL Head Coach Defends Taunting Penalty Rule
Coming into the 2021 season, the NFL said it was putting an emphasis on taunting. It’s been very evident through the first two months of the season that the league is staying true to that. Although there have been countless complaints about the abundance of taunting calls this season, Bears head coach Matt Nagy recently defended […] The post NFL Head Coach Defends Taunting Penalty Rule appeared first on The Spun.
Fine, then. “Posturing” is a foul. Good luck making that clear and understandable and consistently enforceable.
Posturing. Thou shalt not posture. What is posturing? Does it fit Potter Stewart’s “know it when you see it” definition? We’ll see.
But it’s not just “posturing,” apparently. It’s “posturing” at the opposing sideline that the rules now prohibit. Even if the rulebook doesn’t specifically address posturing of any kind.
It will be interesting to see how the rule is enforced going forward, as to calls made and not made. The problem is that the definition adds even more subjectivity into the decision-making process, allowing officials to have broad discretion that, depending on when and how it’s exercised, will make some think that the league wants to engineer a specific result, or that the NFL has a Tim Donaghy problem. Regardless of whether either thing is actually happening.
originally appeared on
ESPN’s Ryan Clark Has Blunt Reaction To NFL’s Taunting Rule .
ESPN personality and former Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark is having none of the NFL’s crackdown on taunting this season. The former player went off on NFL Live on Tuesday. “You mean to tell me on that one play I gotta calm all that down that went into this because somebody who can’t do what […] The post ESPN’s Ryan Clark Has Blunt Reaction To NFL’s Taunting Rule appeared first on The Spun.