Bengals' Joe Burrow Advocates for NFL to Eliminate Specific Penalty

NFL faces scrutiny over stringent taunting rules and penalties.

by Nouman Rasool
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Bengals' Joe Burrow Advocates for NFL to Eliminate Specific Penalty
© Jamie Squire/Getty Images

In a surprising shift from the typical quarterback perspective, Cincinnati Bengals' Joe Burrow is pushing for the NFL to reconsider its stance on the taunting penalty, a rule that typically penalizes the opposition. His comments came during a recent episode of the "New Heights" podcast, hosted by NFL brothers Jason and Travis Kelce in Cincinnati.

Burrow openly expressed his support for allowing taunting on the field, emphasizing that as professionals, players should be able to celebrate their successes without repercussions. “Yeah, I'm pro taunting,” Burrow declared.

“We're all grown adults who work really hard at what we do. And sometimes, we'd like to show it. I’m not going to get my feelings hurt if somebody sacks me and taunts me like you made a play. I get it. Like good for you”.

This isn't the first time Burrow has voiced his opinion on this matter. His distaste for the taunting penalty was previously highlighted during the post-game discussions of the Kansas City Chiefs' 17-10 victory over the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship Game earlier in January.

Taunting Penalty Consequences

Under current NFL regulations, taunting is described as any action or verbal exchange that may stir hostility between teams. Consequences for such behavior include a 15-yard penalty and an automatic first down, significantly impacting the game's flow.

Additionally, players face hefty fines starting at $10,300 for a first offense and escalating to $15,450 for subsequent violations, although these can be appealed. Statistics from NFLpenalties.com show a decrease in taunting infractions, with 15 penalties accounting for 225 yards during the 2023 season, a drop from 19 in the previous year and significantly lower than the record 43 seen in 2021.

The majority of last season's taunting penalties were called against wide receivers, with eight instances, followed by defensive backs with five, and linebackers and quarterbacks with one each. Notably, teams like Buffalo and Las Vegas experienced multiple taunting penalties.

Burrow's stance challenges the current disciplinary measures against taunting, advocating for a more lenient approach that acknowledges the intense emotion and competitive spirit inherent in professional football. His call for change sparks a broader conversation about sportsmanship, emotion, and professionalism in the NFL, potentially influencing future adjustments to the league’s rulebook.

Bengals Joe Burrow
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