After almost a week of deliberation, the NFL fined Bears’ linebacker Cassius Marsh nearly $6,000 for a taunting call on Monday Night Football. They’re now referring to it as an unsportsmanlike conduct infraction.
The NFL stood by the decision of referee Tony Corrente and fully supported the penalty call. Arguably, the call changed the entire outlook of the game and may have gifted the victory to the Steelers. On the other side, the game was still up for grabs at that point and the Bears should have done more to win. Regardless, the referees threw the flag and what could have been will never be seen.
The national perspective of the call is mostly one-sided, so naturally the NFL jumps into action. Field Yates, a prominent figure in NFL media, is even calling the referees out for the terrible call. The league fined Marsh almost $6,000 for what exactly? That amount of money isn’t a lot for an NFL player, even if it’s a journeyman on his seventh or eighth team.
This fine was about sending a message to the players and the NFLPA. They want the nation to know that they mean business and no form of ‘taunting’ will be tolerated. As long as the league forces this farcical rule on the players, they must abide by the nonsense.
The only way to avoid the abusive penalties and another fine is to avoid giving them the opportunity. Everything should be considered one step away from taunting. Players must be smart and avoid the wrath of Tony Corrente.