Every offseason, the NFL tweaks some of its rules, or at least the enforcement of them. Different topics become “points of emphasis” for the upcoming season.
For 2021, it looks like the league competition committee wants officials to watch out for and crack down on taunting. Poor sportsmanship will be penalized.
The good news is that it doesn’t look like touchdown celebrations will be affected after the NFL allowed more leeway for choreographed or group displays.
“The face to face, the pointing of fingers, the standing over players on the ground,” will be penalized, McKay said, via Pro Football Talk.
One point of emphasis in NFL competition committee’s report, per chairman Rich McKay: Taunting.
Not so much TD celebrations, but feeling of coaches’ subcommittee is they’ve gotten lax on players going face to face, standing over people, pointing fingers, etc. Expect more flags.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 21, 2021
Of course, what might be considered unsportsmanlike is subjective. Referees might have to make judgment calls regarding whether a specific action merits a penalty.
Fans won’t like this, and it will likely lead to social media griping. However, it’s clear that the powers that be want to crackdown on any type of taunting this fall.