The NFL fined players more than $94,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct and taunting during Week 2, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.
Seattle Seahawks guard Gabe Jackson got a $12,875 fine. Los Angeles Chargers tight end Jared Cook and wide receiver Keenan Allen were fined $10,300. Chicago Bears safety Tashaun Gipson and Cincinnati Bengals safety Vonn Bell were also fined $10,300.
Buffalo Bills cornerback Levi Wallace was fined $9,526 and Seahawks cornerback D.J. Reed was fined $5,111. Pittsburgh Steelers guard Trai Turner got the largest fine for unsportsmanlike conduct this week, but his $15,450 fine was for spitting at an opponent.
Taunting rules are controversial, but the goal is to target acts directed at an opponent:— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 25, 2021
- Cook spun ball at player's feet
- Gipson stood over player and clapped
- Bell briefly got in player's face
- Allen bumped player
NFL reinforcing the message: These are flags and fines. https://t.co/UocjahPN9I
The NFL's competition committee decided taunting should be an emphasis from officiating crews during the 2021 season, and the violation results in a 15-yard penalty.
With minor things called through the first two weeks of the season, NFL fans and even players have shared their frustration about the new rules.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady even responded to an Instagram post that said the league's new taunting rule "stinks" and that it's "ruining the game."
Despite the criticisms, it doesn't seem like the NFL plans to tell officiating crews to lay off at any point during the season. So players and fans will have to get used to the new protocols.