When the NFL announced that it planned to crackdown on various kinds of taunting penalties this season, fans met the decision with a fair amount of skepticism. On Sunday, we got a glimpse into exactly what kind of actions will be flagged by officials in 2021.
Early in the third quarter of this afternoon’s preseason game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Carolina Panthers, Colts running back Benny LeMay took a handoff on second down and short and charged upfield. He picked up the first down and kept chugging, carrying a handful of Panthers defenders with him for an additional 10 yards.
LeMay got up clearly amped and appeared to celebrate near a Panthers defender. From there, an official emerged and flagged the Colts rookie for taunting.
Here’s video of the play and the subsequent flag, courtesy of Ari Meirov:
This is an example of the taunting the league doesn’t want to see in games. Just happened in the #Panthers–#Colts game.pic.twitter.com/Tu70GjBxwU
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) August 15, 2021
Although the Colts were still awarded the first down, the penalty completely nullified the run and set the Indianapolis offense behind the original line of scrimmage for the next snap. The flag also took away a huge moment for a rookie running back trying to prove himself.
Unsurprisingly, NFL fans and media members were outraged at the call. Many took to social media to blast the league yet again for the crackdown on taunting this year. If LeMay was flagged for his minor celebration on Sunday, fans are worried about what kinds of plays could get penalized when the regular season begins.
So lame for that, No Fun League back in action! That energy what amps the game up!!! If it’s flagrant fine, but that Wasn’t even disrespectful 🙄🙄🙄 https://t.co/TxrUg7rhWd
— cameron jordan (@camjordan94) August 15, 2021
Absolute insanity here from the @NFL.
Colts RB Benny LeMay carries five dudes ON HIS BACK and is not allowed to express any emotion. https://t.co/oMg8m22NAz
— Tyler Dunne (@TyDunne) August 15, 2021
This is horrible by the NFL. The No fun league.
over officious jerks, marv levy voice
It’s a game played with passion, emotion and enthusiam.
Stop trying to make it antiseptic https://t.co/52bX2PxiCl
— Clarence Hill Jr (@clarencehilljr) August 15, 2021
I can’t understand why the NFL thinks it’s beneficial to have the game played by emotionless robots https://t.co/MwLrnFbWS9
— Adam Stites (@AdamStites_) August 15, 2021
Snowflake league https://t.co/KNVWebsKH7
— Duncan Smith (@DuncanSmithNBA) August 15, 2021
To be fair to the officials, the league will probably take some time to get a hold on taunting penalties this year. On the other hand, if LeMay’s seemingly harmless celebration is flag-worthy, than fans aren’t going to be happy once the regular season begins.
Either way, the NFL’s plan to eliminate “taunting” from the game isn’t off to the best start.
The post Watch: Here’s The ‘Taunting’ Penalty The NFL Will Enforce appeared first on The Spun.
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