The NFL wasn’t kidding about strictly enforcing taunting rules during the 2021 season.
Early in the third quarter of Sunday’s preseason game between the Colts and Panthers, Indianapolis running back Benny LeMay took a handoff from quarterback Sam Ehlinger and rumbled for 14 yards and a first down. It was an impressive run by the former Charlotte star, who pushed a pile of Carolina defenders past midfield.
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But then LeMay committed a terrible offense, one that could not be overlooked. He expressed excitement and joy after the play was over.
How will football fans explain this to their children? This kind of behavior — the yelling and gesturing in multiple directions — simply cannot stand.
Jokes aside, this will likely be just one of many taunting flags that will be thrown this year. The league made it clear earlier this month that taunting rules will be a “point of emphasis” for officiating crews, so even something as mild as what LeMay did Sunday will result in a 15-yard penalty.
LeMay appeared to learn his lesson, as he celebrated a fourth-quarter touchdown run with a few high-fives and helmet taps.
Much better, Benny. You never want to express too much emotion.