John Mara: Taunting is a point of emphasis because we’re “sick and tired of the taunting”

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The NFL has reminded players, coaches and officials that taunting is a point of emphasis this season, which has led to some criticism that the NFL is the No Fun League. But Giants owner John Mara is standing by the taunting emphasis.

Mara, a member of the NFL’s Competition Committee, says there’s widespread agreement among the people who make the rules that a crackdown on taunting is appropriate.

“That’s something we discuss every year in the Competition Committee,” Mara said. “We get kind of sick and tired of the taunting that does go on from time to time on the field. We tried to balance the sportsmanship with allowing the players to have fun and there’s always a fine line there, but none of us like to see that. It’s just a question of whether you can have rules that can be enforced and without taking the fun out of the game too, but nobody wants to see a player taunting another player. I know, I certainly don’t. I think the rest of the members of the Competition Committee feel the same way, too.”

When it comes to taunting, there seems to be an age divide, with people like the 66-year-old Mara far more concerned about it than NFL players in their 20s. But it’s the owners who make the rules, and Mara and his fellow owners are sick and tired of the trash talking.

UPDATE 9:35 p.m. ET: Although the transcript of Mara’s comments published by the Giants quoted Mara as saying “sick and tired of the talking,” a review of the audio reveals that Mara actually said, “sick and tired of the taunting.”

83 responses to “John Mara: Taunting is a point of emphasis because we’re “sick and tired of the taunting”

  1. Mara is a weirdo .. why does he care what is said on the field.. not like he can hear any of it from up in his luxury box.

  2. Maybe Mara should consider that he’s in the entertainment industry, not running a church.

  3. Taunting is going to be judged by the officials on the field. This has become a subjective rule enforcement based on how the person on the field feels what is or is not taunting. Unless there are clear and defined rules what constitutes taunting it will come down to a group of individuals enforcing it based on their perceptions.

    This will go over well.

  4. Mara once tried to cover for a wifebeater, Eli’s memorabilia scams and the walkie talkies.

    Who knows what else they’ve been invovled with telling Goodell what to do.

  5. Football is a passionate game, emotions run rampant sometimes, I mean heck even Golf Players talk trash to each other one the course. This is such an “old man” boomer take, let the boys have fun with the game they fell in love with, instead of being so grumpy, GEESH!!

  6. Mara wants to eliminate taunting because his team stinks and he does not want his players feelings hurt.

  7. I’m over 60, and I don’t like all the talk all the time, but it comes from my belief in sportsmanship. I will tell a guy “good play”, maybe help him up, when he beats me, but I might make a “won’t happen again” type remark, but it’s in fun. When someone is in my ear it only reinforces my desire to beat that person. I realize pros prolly won’t help each other up (Richard Dent used to tho, so “he could knock ’em back down again”), just play the damn game without constant lip.
    Interesting to see how this shakes out opinion wise.

  8. It’s a double-edged sword. No penalty/fine for taunting, but no penalty/fine for an elbow to the jaw in retaliation either. They’ll learn to shut up quickly enough.

  9. touchback6 says:
    August 17, 2021 at 5:48 pm
    Mara once tried to cover for a wifebeater, Eli’s memorabilia scams and the walkie talkies.

    Who knows what else they’ve been invovled with telling Goodell what to do.

    ———-
    How hard were you sobbing after the 2007 & 2011 seasons?

  10. Imagine a playoff game being decided by a sketchy taunting call.. More and more it sometimes seems like they’re just creating reasons to call new penalties at crucial moments of these games.

  11. And yet the ultimate taunt – end zone prancing – is encouraged ad nauseum, even the Defense, even if they don’t pick-6 it.

  12. Sounds a bit like ol’ Bob McNair. Cant let the inmates run the asylum, right John?

  13. In bed with gambling and immediately saying the more subjective calls from refs are encouraged. Not the best optics or timing

  14. He sounds like he’s never played a competitive sport in his life and certainly not a high level. There are certain things those who have never played just won’t understand about those who have.

  15. You can slam into the guys knees at 20 mph but please don’t say anything mean to him. What a perfect summation of today’s NFL.

  16. snowdood163 says:
    August 17, 2021 at 5:54 pm
    touchback6 says:
    August 17, 2021 at 5:48 pm
    Mara once tried to cover for a wifebeater, Eli’s memorabilia scams and the walkie talkies.

    Who knows what else they’ve been invovled with telling Goodell what to do.

    ———-
    How hard were you sobbing after the 2007 & 2011 seasons?

    ———-

    Post of the year!! Lol

  17. Please eliminate the entire defense celebration after a turnover, it’s so annoying.

  18. Smart move by the NFL. Most people know right from wrong, and have enough self-respect to pass along a little respect to other humans. But rules are for the few that don’t know right from wrong. It’s like having a party with an open bar. Most people can handle it, but a few won’t have enough self-control, and they’ll ruin the fun for everyone. Then they have to shut the bar down. So the no fun stuff is really just a reflection of a few who can’t handle all that freedom.

  19. Jimmypinthe416 says:
    August 17, 2021 at 6:17 pm
    snowdood163 says:
    August 17, 2021 at 5:54 pm
    touchback6 says:
    August 17, 2021 at 5:48 pm
    Mara once tried to cover for a wifebeater, Eli’s memorabilia scams and the walkie talkies.

    Who knows what else they’ve been invovled with telling Goodell what to do.

    ———-
    How hard were you sobbing after the 2007 & 2011 seasons?

    ———-

    Post of the year!! Lol

    8 5 Rate This

    —————-

    I saw them coming, so wasn’t sobbing at all. Thankfully BB reined Brady back in from that god awful shotgun/spread garbage.

    That has nothing to do with me knowing certain owners are the cheaters with Goodell framing the Pats for better financial gain and to try to stop another dynasty.

    Mara is one of them. Mara tells Goodell to jump and ol Rogie asks “how high”?

  20. What a bunch of whining by many of the posters.

    Yes I am an old guy and I played in a Catholic league back in the dark ages when headslaps were still legal but you know what my coaches (in all sports) told us?

    “The scoreboard does your talking. Anything else is an inferior athlete trying to make himself feel better because he made ONE play. Make them all and the scoreboard does all the talking you’ll ever need to to do!”

    Trash talk is for classless people,

  21. Will it help get the ones who started the on field fight penalized instead of the one who retaliates ?

  22. Looking forward to having one of these taunting calls impact the point spread and listening to all the screaming Meemies go off on how the fix was in. That will be fun.

  23. Geez, it’s like football is becoming a kind of gentleman’s sport… like cricket or something. Perhaps let’s bag the Gatorade for a spot of tea instead.

  24. Chad talked a lot, but I never thought of it as taunting. He is one of the most beloved Bengals, because of his mouth. NFL Films loved him, but maybe Mara didn’t.

  25. Let the players take care of it.
    Like in Super Bowl X when that punk Cliff Harris patted Roy Gerela on the head after a missed field goal. Lambert grabbed him and body slammed him.
    No more taunting.

  26. Are they going to stop those stupid team celebrations in end zones? Where usually the defense gathers after a turnover and poses for the cameras?

  27. Who is we Johnny? I’ve never seen you in a game. As a Giants fan I wish you’d spend less time talking ….. about everything.

  28. supercharger says:
    August 17, 2021 at 5:54 pm
    Imagine a playoff game being decided by a sketchy taunting call.. More and more it sometimes seems like they’re just creating reasons to call new penalties at crucial moments of these games.
    ———————————————————————————————————————————————-
    Taunting penalties have been part of the game for quite a while, so the possibility of some selfish egotistical football player costing his team 15 because of taunting has existed for a long time. If the NFL officials are going to make it a point of emphasis, maybe they will make enough calls during the regular season so that the players will police themselves and know how to not cross that line in the playoffs.

  29. “touchback6 says:
    August 17, 2021 at 5:48 pm

    Mara once tried to cover for a wifebeater”

    It’s worse. He didn’t TRY to cover, he DID cover for a wifebeater. He kept it hush, had him in his own hotel room from his families, even resigned him. He only said something once it got out.

  30. I could live without all the marginal players being so demonstrative…on the first drive and their still deep in their own territory. Or the defensive players who catch a guy in a vulnerable position and didn’t see him coming, blow him up and act like they just made the play of the year. Act like you’ve been there before and done that…back it up by doing it again…repeatedly.

  31. Find a new owner. Tired of these old fogies who take ALL of the fun and excitement out of the game. Pat Bowlen would never of done this crap! He LOVED the game and the players. #RIP

  32. Taunting is anything within 5 yards of an opponent, anything beyond 5 yards is fun.
    Sacking the QB and stepping over him is taunting, get up move 5 yards away and dance all you want. End zone celebrations all good. Talking within 5 yards penalty, shouting 6 yards away, fine.
    The issue with taunting is it could become personal which leads to retaliation and fights.
    Mark Wright

  33. I dunno. I think some taunting and trash talk is needed in professional sports. Heck in high school we had trash talk and taunting in both football and basketball. It never escalated to fisticuffs but it was about competition and heat of the moment. Which in turn makes it fun. It makes fans boo and fans cheer. Isn’t that what entertainment sports are about? Pleasing the fans? I prefer to watch a chippy game, that’s just me.

  34. Maybe instead of penalizing them 15 yards they should get 15 minutes in the corner on timeout to think about what they did.

  35. The league BETTER get out of this mentality and start asking the paying customers what THEY want. Or they will stay away.

  36. Down by three scores with no timeouts and only minutes to play in a game and a wideout catches a hail Mary then the whole team joins in to celebrate their excellent play.

    Now only down by two scores and no chance to tie or win.

    Those celebrations are classic modern NFL. And 50% of today’s fans think it’s MustSeeTV.

    Of course none of them remember how players behaved on the field prior to the Bills winning 4 AFC championships in a row.

  37. It’s football. The biggest, fastest, smartest men on earth. A 98 pound weakling can run his mouth.

  38. feetballs711 says:
    August 17, 2021 at 5:47 pm
    Ok, Boomer.

    –‐————

    Coming from the most image conscious, materialistic and self entitled generations that’s a compliment. Lol…..

  39. Despite all of the whining on this post, it’s actually pretty easy to see what they are calling. If a player stands over top of another player and talks down on them it will get called – as it should. If they point in the face of someone after tackling them it will get called. Only the moron players will have difficulty avoiding this. But ‘fans’ will cry about ‘no fun’ simply because the league is asking for a tiny amount of sportsmanship and respect for their competitors.

  40. Brilliant! Another rule enforced by judgement to influence the outcome of the contest…….

  41. The unspoken other edge of this double-edge sword is the use of performance enhancing drugs by players. It used to be much more obvious with the roid-rage and all that. But, it still persists, even in today’s no fun league. You take a guy who has worked his entire life to be out on that field and it’s already high-octane high-emotion, but then you add in the kinds of things these guys take (legally and illegally) and it quickly becomes clear that at least some part of taunting is related to the stuff in the players system (in addition to testosterone). If you put a big hit on someone and want them to remember you, you stand up and look them in the eye as you slowly back away and walk to the bench. That’s fine. You do the gun-hand-gesture to someone, that’s no bueno. I’m frankly more concerned about celebrations that JUST. TAKE. FOREVER.

  42. i’m sorry, but taunting has no place in the NFL or any other organised sport or activity;

    it crosses the line from a sport to what is tantamount to a battle that is far too close to inviting a warlike mentality that also has no place in sport;

    this includes gestures, postures, behaviour like wiping yourself on a goalpost or running to midfield to shame a symbol of the other team, and trash-talk;

    if taunting is what you want go see the human pit bulls in MMA;

    if trash talk is your thing you can get all you want at the local bar during happy hour;

    just keep it out of my stadium and off my field;

  43. But on a turnover the whole defense can pose to the camera when they are losing by 20 points in the 4th quarter.

  44. touchback6 says:
    August 17, 2021 at 5:48 pm
    Mara once tried to cover for a wifebeater, Eli’s memorabilia scams and the walkie talkies.

    Who knows what else they’ve been invovled with telling Goodell what to do.
    ——————————————————————
    Nothing more than “massage parlor” Kraft and BB..

  45. I find it very telling that John Mara is trying to get players to act like the professionals they are supposed to be and he is called names like “old coot” by some so-called fans in here.
    People forget that many kids watch sports and no matter what anyone says, they are influenced by what they see their favorite players do.
    At a time when we are trying to eliminate bullying in schools, these professionals are doing exactly that on the playing fields.
    Mara is right. Professional athletes should be conscious of what they are doing and try to show respect and some class when they are on the field.
    Of course, now I’ll be ripped for my comments. And that will make me even more sure that Mara is right.

  46. I just hope I never see, even in highlights or on Youtube, another JuJu Smith-Schuster dance.

  47. Taunting is just low class. Shut up and do your job, because at some point it’s going to be you who gets laid out, burned, or whiffs on a tackle.
    I guess it goes back to the saying ‘act as if you’ve been there’.

  48. davedsone says:
    August 17, 2021 at 7:25 pm

    The league BETTER get out of this mentality and start asking the paying customers what THEY want.
    ———–

    They listen closely to CBS, ESPN, FOX, and NBC and the league pretty much does give them what they want. If you are referring to the fans – who for the most part pay nothing to watch or read about the sport – you misunderstand the business of professional sports.

  49. there is no place for taunting of any kind in any sport whatsoever;

    no discussion, no exceptions, no excuses;

  50. I like the trash talk, but I find it unnecessary to stand over a player who’s on the ground and taunt him.

  51. iliketurtles says
    Are they going to stop those stupid team celebrations in end zones? Where usually the defense gathers after a turnover and poses for the cameras?
    ————————————-
    The minute there’s a TD or turnover, I switch channels for 45 seconds

  52. Best way to stop it is have offenses increase their tempo. If a WR or running back desire to strut or floss while the quarterback is trying to set up, pull him or fine him. Same for the defense. Guys want to dance and take fake pics after a play, the offense should no huddle or quick snap. it’ll squash that. Like when Khalil Mack was 30 yards down the back field dancing with his partner after sacking Alex Smith. Smith ran a hurry up and Justin Tuck had to call a timeout lol

  53. Mara is starting to sound like a grumpy old man! Don’t take the fun out of the game!! If you don’t like touchdown dances then keep your opponent from scoring!

  54. kurtlaughlin says:
    August 17, 2021 at 8:41 pm
    They listen closely to CBS, ESPN, FOX, and NBC and the league pretty much does give them what they want. If you are referring to the fans – who for the most part pay nothing to watch or read about the sport – you misunderstand the business of professional sports.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++
    Fans pay nothing to watch the sport?
    Where do you think the $10 billion from TV comes from? A magic bunny rabbit? A generous donation? Try looking at your cable bill or the price of the beer you are guzzling? Fans pay for NFL football in a myriad of ways. It makes the owner very rich.

  55. I’m more bothered by the entire defensive unit running to the end zone every time they get a turnover.

  56. You have to remember this generation of player was raised by constantly being told “use your words” as a way to handle high emotions.

  57. Finding more ways to slow down the game. Taunting is penalized now. Why is Mara whining? I would call him a whiner but I don’t wanna get fined and a 15 yard penalty.

  58. I’m reminded of something the great Gordon Bombayonce said. Sports are a game and games are meant to be fun. Stop killing the fun. As long as it’s not over the line I have no issue with a guy getting hyped doing something that is extremely emotional.

  59. I’m not that against it to be honest. I mean, I could use a little less in your face b.s. after a freaking 3 yard gain for a first down on your own side of the field.

  60. I am sick of it as well. Grow up and just play the game your PAYED to play and quit acting like children. It reminds me of the School yard BULLIES. Do you all think this is a good model for your children?

  61. Professional football should not be about watching allegedly college educated grown men acting like immature little boys on a playground. That’s not my idea of “entertainment”.

  62. The NFL is comprised of guys who’ve grown up being super-competitive. Trash talking is part of the game, and many QBs trash talk as much as anyone, but I doubt we’ll see any flags thrown on Brady or Rogers, etc.

    When a players gets a first down and signals it, that could be seen as taunting. I think nitpicky things like cracking down on taunting don’t improve the game. How about we work hard on getting the games to under 3 hours?

  63. There are a few taunting things I don’t like – when people stand over guys after tackles, (especially when guys are hurt), throwing the ball back at them after a catch or score, and when they jaw helmet to helmet with someone who is not engaged. Other than that, some gestures, talk, dances, who cares? Makes it more entertaining.

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