This offseason, the NFL decided to put a point of emphasis on taunting. However, the decision has been met with backlash.
In the past, the NFL has been ridiculed for being the “No Fun League,” but in recent years, it has loosened up and given players more individuality. The league gave players more freedom in how they celebrate touchdowns and has had campaigns allowing players to design their own cleats.
In a 2017 letter to fans, Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league wants to allow players “more room to have fun after they make big plays.”
After much success with the new standard on celebrations, the NFL is seemingly taking a step back. Players are criticizing the league and its new stance on taunting.
A tweet from the NFL Players Association account stated, “For those who aren’t a fan of the new taunting rule, we aren’t either.”
Where the need for such a rule came from is perplexing. Most fans, former players, coaches, and executives don’t see why the NFL suddenly deemed it an issue that needs to be addressed. People are also concerned about the potential this new rule has to ruin a big game.
On his show, former NFL punter Pat McAfee said, “Why is this what the NFL wants to do? Why are we going backwards?”
After week two of the NFL season, 11 taunting penalties were called, tying the amount called in the entirety of last season.