The NFL levied a pair of fines against the Dallas Cowboys in their overtime win over New England — most notably to wideout CeeDee Lamb.
The NFL’s insistence on increasing the presence of the taunting penalty in 2021 is one of the more puzzling decisions from a league whose only limit on its popularity is itself.
Lamb scored the game-winning touchdown against the New England Patriots just last week, and waved goodbye to all of Foxborough in the process.
???? Cee ya later! We’ll be back next Sunday. #DallasCowboys@_CeeDeeThree pic.twitter.com/Q3Ad26kMiQ
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) October 23, 2021
How dare he?!
Lamb was fined by the NFL for said taunting, which was only noticed by angry Boston sports fans and the league which validates their concerns.
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) October 23, 2021
What is taunting in the NFL?
FanSided’s Jaleel Grandberry reviewed the NFL’s increased emphasis on taunting before the season.
“Per the NFL’s rulebook, taunting is defined as “baiting or taunting acts or words that may engender ill will between teams.” The pretty vague definition carries stiff consequences. The initial call is a 15-yard penalty. If a player receives two taunting penalties he will be ejected from the game. After league offices review the incident, players can be fined and/or suspended.”
In this case, Lamb was fined, and the NFL had every right to do so per league rules. That doesn’t necessarily make it a good thing, however.
Assuming it’s not overkill, players should be encouraged to show personality and flare on any given play. This is especially true on a game-winning touchdown in overtime.
But not in today’s NFL, evidently. The league is going backwards.