Ron Rivera explains why he supports NFL crackdown on taunting: 'Don't want somebody out for revenge'
Washington Football Team coach Ron Rivera supports the league's crackdown on taunting. That might come as a surprise, as Rivera was part of a 2015 Carolina Panthers team that engaged in a number of on-field celebrations. That experience informed Rivera's stance on the rule.
Rivera, who is a member of the NFL's competition committee, explained his stance on the taunting rule Tuesday. Rivera said the rule was put in place to try and prevent escalating situations that could lead to brawls.
Ron Rivera on taunting: “We’re all for celebrations. Remember, we (Carolina) were the 2015 team that everyone was mad at for dabbing and taking pictures on the sideline. … We’re trying to stop from having a brawl on our hands.” pic.twitter.com/vsC0jt6ZgC
— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) September 21, 2021
Rivera specifically referenced the 2015 Panthers when talking about the issue.
"I'm all for celebrations," Rivera said. "Remember, we were the 2015 team that everyone was mad at because we were dabbing and stuff like that and taking picture on the sideline … The intent is so that somebody doesn't do something that gets somebody to come back with a little retribution. We don't want that. We don't want somebody out for revenge. That's what we're trying to prevent."
Rivera is one of three NFL coaches on the league's competition committee, which sets new rules and regulations each season. Mike Tomlin and Mike Vrabel are the other two coaches on the committee.
NFL under fire for new taunting rule
Two weeks into the NFL regular season, the taunting rule has already come under fire by fans. There have been 10 taunting penalties through two weeks, many of which drew criticism from those watching the games.
Here are some of the taunting penalties called on Sunday. This stuff is a disaster. It has to stop. pic.twitter.com/DFC1VtZHe6
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) September 20, 2021
Retired NFL referee Jeff Triplette told Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo Sports that it is a "fine line" between celebrating and taunting. Triplette added that refs have it hard enough just following plays and making the correct calls. He said enforcing taunting penalties is "really one of the last things you want to have to do" as a ref.
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