The National Football League announced multiple rule changes on Tuesday in a five-minute video that will be implemented in the upcoming season. One of the biggest changes announced is that officials have been instructed to strictly enforce taunting rules during games.
"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 the 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."
Some examples of taunting acts are described as "using abusive, threatening, or insulting language or gestures to opponents, teammates, officials, or representatives of the League" and "using baiting or taunting acts or words that may engender ill will between teams," among others.
Many fans feel that "taunting" is a part of the fun and excitement that comes with football but the league disagrees. Putting this new rule into effect will be sure to bring many unsportsmanlike penalties but hopefully they won't swing games in 2021.