NFL Referee Seemingly Bumps Into Player – Throws Taunting Penalty on Monday Night Football
There is a lot of criticism towards NFL referees on social media today after a taunting call in the Monday Night Football game between the Bears and the Steelers put fans up-in-arms. The video of the referee seemingly stepping back into a player as he called penalty is being highlighted.
Before you see the video itself, check out referee Tony Corrente's explanation for the flag.
The referee in charge explained that the penalty he called had nothing to do with the incidental contact between himself in the player, but the way the player celebrated the tackle he had just made towards the opposing team's sideline.
If you didn't remember, the taunting penalty has been a "point of emphasis" for NFL referees this season and they sure have been letting it fly. But, has this "emphasis" gone too far? We are not at the halfway point of the NFL season and these types of calls are still being made.
But, before I go on too far with a rant regarding being an emotional football player - let's get to the video in question.
See the full breakdown from @WillBrinson on Twitter below.
He goes on to point out the moment where the white-cap steps back a yard-or-so, seemingly creating the contact.
See the footage with analysis from the commentators via @barstoolsports here.
As one of the commentators points out, the referee seems to already be reaching for the flag in his belt before the contact even happens. That could corroborate his explanation for the flag when he said the penalty was a result of the Bears players posturing towards the Steelers sideline.
Some on Twitter tried to give an explanation for the contact, but others weren't buying it.
Here were the commentators for the game reacting to the massive call via @bampac29 on Twitter.
As they note, if the call was in fact regarding #59 looking towards the Steelers sideline as a way to taunt them after the big play, then it is ticky-tacky at best to throw a flag on a player who is "taunting" the opposing team from some 25-yards away.
While the NFL has continued to allow players flipping and sliding into the end zone for a touchdown, it seems like there is some picking and choosing going on as to when emotions are allowed to be shown on the gridiron. The explanation from the league has been you cannot celebrate towards the opposing team, that is what creates the "taunting".
But, you are asking professional athletes to contain their emotions to only certain portions of the game. That just simply will not work. Let's hope the NFL's competition committee can come together in the wake of this call to "de-emphasize" the taunting penalty that is now posing real effects on the outcome of games.
The 'No Fun League' needs to make adjustments and they need to do it fast.
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