The NFL hasn’t just stepped up the enforcement of taunting with penalty flags. The league is also cracking down on taunting by fining the offending players.
The league dished out fines totaling more than $94,000 for taunting and unsportsmanlike conduct, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Media.
Seahawks guard Gabe Jackson got a $12,875 fine. Chargers tight end Jared Cook, Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen, Bears safety Tashaun Gipson and Bengals safety Vonn Bell each got $10,300.
Bills cornerback Levi Wallace was fined $9,526 and Seahawks cornerback D.J. Reed was fined $5,111.
Steelers guard Trai Turner got the biggest fine for unsportsmanlike conduct this week, but his $15,450 fine was for spitting at an opponent, which was an infraction that drew fines and ejections even before this year’s emphasis on taunting.
Although the league has taken plenty of criticism for its focus on taunting this season, there’s no indication that the decision-makers are having any second thoughts. And so players will either need to learn not to taunt, or will have to get used to 15-yard penalties and five-figure fines.