Washington's Rivera supports crackdown on taunting
Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera doesn't mind the influx of taunting flags across the league through the first two weeks of the NFL season.
"The idea behind the taunting rule is to prevent the bigger things, OK?" Rivera told reporters Tuesday. "We've had this example where one guy taunts a guy and then the guy comes back for a little payback, and next thing you know you've got a big fight on your hands - you got guys coming from left field hitting each other."
The NFL Competition Committee, of which Rivera is a part, informed teams in the offseason that it would crack down on post-play demonstrations in 2021. The league sent a video reel to each club, explaining what officials would and wouldn't tolerate under the stricter guidelines.
Officials called eight unsportsmanlike penalties in Week 2, tying the most for a single week since 2000, according to ESPN's Kevin Seifert. Only 11 taunting penalties were called over the entire 2020 season.
"I'm all for the celebrations," Rivera said. "Remember, we were the 2015 (Carolina Panthers) team that everybody was mad at because we were dabbing and stuff like that, taking pictures on the sideline. ... You want these guys to keep their personality, you want them to be who they are because these guys are explosive players that make dynamic plays.
"The intent is so that somebody doesn't do something that gets somebody to come back with a little retribution. You don't want that. You don't want somebody out for revenge. That's what we're trying to prevent."
Washington wasn't called for taunting in its first two games of the year.