Ron Rivera on taunting: We don’t need peewee football kids seeing us act like that

Washington Football Team v New England Patriots
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Washington coach Ron Rivera says the NFL is thinking of the children with its crackdown on taunting.

Rivera, a member of the league’s Competition Committee, said he is teaching his players that they need to avoid taunting, not only because the NFL is warning players that officials will call taunting penalties more strictly this season, but also because he doesn’t like the way it looks for young fans.

“The league sends us the directives as to what’s going on and then they send us a sampling of what’s acceptable and not acceptable,” Rivera said. “The whole concept and idea behind it is what we don’t want is we don’t want it to escalate. So they tell everybody, this is an emphasis. This is what we’re really going to try and clamp down on. And traditionally, you know, if it happens, especially during the preseason, it’s a great time to do it. Just so the players understand what the referees are going to be looking for. They don’t want you taunting your opponent.

“If you make a great play, great. Be excited, but don’t do it towards your opponent. 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. And that’s why they’re doing it. That’s what the emphasis, 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.

“We really don’t because it is not a good look. Quite honestly, we don’t need the young people to see that. 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.”

Many NFL players and fans have vocally opposed the league’s crackdown on taunting, but the people who make the rules aren’t backing down. The crackdown on taunting will go on.

28 responses to “Ron Rivera on taunting: We don’t need peewee football kids seeing us act like that

  1. “We don’t need the pop warner, peewee football kids seeing us act like that.”

    This is a really good point. On one hand, I do love when players get fired up and go at each other. On the other, I don’t want to see little kids imitating that behavior. The little ones will imitate what they see NFL players do on tv.

  2. Don’t show the players reactions after a play on TV.
    Cut away to the cheerleaders or something.

  3. This has been going on for several years now and the coaches have just let it happen. it is mostly their fault. I am very much against taunting, coaches need to discipline their players when it happens.

  4. I love Ron Rivera!! Always a class act and he is exactly right!!
    Thanks for nailing it, Ron!!

  5. How is it a bad look for any sport? Fighting is the most exciting part of watching the NHL. Why is the NFL acting so high and mighty all of a sudden?

  6. NFL were thinking like kids when they encouraged extra taunting in the form of end zone dances.

  7. With the current challenges faced by the NFL he should be lucky if peewee footballers actually watched the games… that’s the reason they went through that weird Nickelodeon showing last year

  8. minime says:
    August 18, 2021 at 2:15 pm
    Don’t show the players reactions after a play on TV.


  9. Rivera put it pretty well. As much as we’re sick of the flags its hard to argue with his stance.

  10. I’m all for class and professionalism in the NFL. The NFL is not the NHL or the WWE.

  11. So you want grown men to try to kill each other for 10 seconds and then after the play’s over act like their the best of friends? It doesn’t work like that.

  12. Let your play on the field be the taunt. Make your hit, take the rock to the house, pick off your pass, and….celebrate with your team. The taunt after the fact/after the play is unnecessary. I would argue that all it does is make you look foolish and provide motivation for the “tauntee”. Get over yourself.

  13. No offense but most PeeWee football kids aren’t going to sit through a whole football game. They’d rather play Madden. If you think a bit of yapping between players is going to ruin your kid maybe you should also think about that tablet or cellphone you gave them. Or yet again what about the commercials? The commercials for horror movies, reality TV, or ED pills? It’s the parents job to parent. If you think football is too much for them then shut it off. It’s an entertainment industry. How many commercials do they air on ESPN radio for divorce attorneys? The problem with these days (I’m only 32) is that everyone wants to point the finger at someone else, no responsibility. Sports can get chippy people. That’s why they wear jerseys and not business attire. Seriously how bad are the commercials compared to some players getting a bit chippy? If it’s a problem then watch golf or tennis. Personal responsibility is lost.

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