Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera is the latest to speak out on the league’s new emphasis on taunting penalties.
As a member of the NFL’s Competition Committee, Rivera decided to talk with reporters on Wednesday regarding the league’s decision to crack down on taunting, imposing harsh penalties for players who taunt other players on the field.
“Quite honestly, we don’t need the young people to see that,” Rivera said, NBC Sports reported. “We don’t need the Pop Warner, peewee football kids seeing us act like that. We want to put it out there as professionally as possible.”
Rivera’s thoughts regarding taunting penalties came a day after New York Giants owner John Mara said that he gets “sick and tired of the talking that does go on from time to time on the field.”
Rivera believes NFL players need to set an example to young fans watching their games.
“If you make a great play, great. Be excited, but don’t do it towards your opponent,” Rivera said. “That’s all we’re asking. That’s what the rule is for. Cause what we don’t want is an escalation of some things that have happened in the past.
“I think last year, two teams got into it where wide receivers and DB’s were going at each other. A year ago, we have one where two teams are going at each other. I mean, you don’t want to see that situation. That’s not a good look for any sport, let alone football, and somebody’s going to get hurt and you just don’t want that.”
Rivera continued: “That’s why everybody’s just got to relax, calm down. Let us go through this process of trying to make sure the players understand that, hey guys, you can celebrate and can have a good time, but don’t taunt your opponent because we don’t want the retaliation in this league.”