NFL May Take Away Touchdowns for Taunting
The NFL may be living up to its reputation as the "No Fun League" yet again.
Seattle Seahawks receiver Golden Tate has stirred up controversy about "taunting" because of his recent "wave goodbye" to St. Louis Rams safety Rodney McLeod.
A referee did throw a flag on Tate before he scored, but the touchdown counted. A 15-yard penalty was applied to the Seahawks kickoff to the Rams.
However, next year the touchdown may not count if there is taunting before the score.
Dean Blandino, the NFL's head of officiating, recently told NBCSports.com that the league may change its rules to be more like the NCAA where the play is stopped and the ball is placed 15 yards behind the spot where the flag is thrown.
“A lot of people felt that the touchdown shouldn’t have counted [but] a taunting foul is always treated as a dead-ball foul, meaning whatever happened during the play counts, and the foul is enforced on the next play, which would be the kickoff,” said Blandino.
“In college, this action would take back the touchdown. Tate started taunting at the 25-yard line," added Blandino. "The college rule, that’s enforced at the spot of the foul, so they’d go from a touchdown to first-and-10 at the 40, which would be a gigantic penalty. The NFL rule, it’s a dead-ball foul, it’s enforced on the kickoff. But I’m sure that’s something that the Competition Committee will look at in the off season.”
Earlier this year, referees went to NFL training camps and warned players not to celebrate after 1st downs, sacks or other non-scoring plays.
Sports Illustrated noted that the following celebratory moves were banned by the NFL rulebook in 2012:
Sack dances, home run swing, incredible hulk; spiking the ball; spinning the ball; throwing or shoving the ball; pointing; pointing the ball; verbal taunting; military salute; standing over an opponent [prolonged and with provocation]; or dancing... Throat slash; machine-gun salute; sexually suggestive gestures; prolonged gyrations; or stomping on a team logo.