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NFL's Terrible Taunting Penalties Are Here to Stay

Liam McKeone
A play Tyreek Hill should've been flagged for
A play Tyreek Hill should've been flagged for / Jamie Squire/GettyImages
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The 2021 NFL season was chock-full of great football, but it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows. There were bad moments, and the worst of those bad moments were centered on the league's focus on taunting penalties. Referees threw flags for post-play antics that wouldn't have even been mentioned on a broadcast in past years, much less drawn penalties. Everybody, and I mean everybody, agreed they were terrible and useless and affected the outcome of important football games for incomprehensible reasons.

Unfortunately, they aren't going away. The NFL's competition committee is meeting this week in Florida and insider reports suggest that the league is sticking to its guns on the matter of "taunting".

It's stupid. Most of the time it seems the only people who care even a little bit about this are the members of the competition committee themselves, like John Mara. Everybody else collectively agrees that these penalties are useless. It's been years since an actual on-field altercation resulted from celebrating after a play, so the only purpose to enforcing these rules is to force the competition committee's arbitrary vision of "sportsmanship" upon fans who never asked for it.

Now teams will know what causes a flag and emotion will be more aggressively stifled on the field. Fantastic. Great work, everybody. Football is more boring because a bunch of old dudes don't like flexing after a sick play. Excellent set-up we've got here.

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