According to multiple rule changes announced by the NFL on Tuesday, game officials have been instructed to strictly enforce taunting rules in 2021.
NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero announced the new rule on social media, revealing that two taunting violations will result in an automatic suspension.
“The NFL’s annual rule change and points of emphasis video notes game officials have been instructed to strictly enforce taunting rules in 2021,” Pelissero wrote in a tweet. “Two violations results in automatic ejection, with fines and even suspensions (!!) in play, too.”
“We saw an increase in actions that clearly are not within the spirit and intent of this rule and not representative of the respect to opponents and others on the field,” the league said in an announcement video.
“Game officials have been instructed to strictly enforce the taunting rules. and players and coaches are reminded that two taunting penalties committed by an individual player will result in automatic disqualification,” the NFL continued. “In addition, the taunting player may be fined and/or suspended depending on the severity of the actions.”
Of course, fans weren’t too happy with the rule change, as many feel like taunting is a natural part of the game. Even more, the possibility of more unsportsmanlike penalties could negatively impact the entertainment value of the sport this season.
See some of the more notable reactions to the NFL’s latest rule change below.