The NFL has put an emphasis on cracking down on taunting this season, and as a result, the players are starting to get fed up with how the referees are interpreting the rules.
One such player is Detroit Lions linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin. After watching the litany of questionable calls as the Chicago Bears played the Pittsburgh Steelers, Reeves-Maybin sounded off in a big way on Twitter about what he perceived is too many bad taunting calls on the field.
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On Twitter, Reeves-Maybin posted the revelation on Tuesday morning, reacting to the calls and calling them “stupid” as he sees it as a player.
During Chicago’s narrow loss to Pittsburgh, a questionable taunting call cost the Bears in a big way. Linebacker Cassius Marsh was flagged late in the game after sacking the quarterback and doing a high-kick celebration. The play was called a penalty, and allowed the Steelers to continue on a scoring drive.
As Reeves-Maybin might say, it could be seen as a stupid turn in a game given the play might not have been taunting at all.
Nick Williams Called Referees Out Earlier This Season
This wasn’t the first time a Detroit defender has sounded off on the refereeing this season. Earlier this year, defensive tackle Nick Williams offered a similar take after a weekend of watching games. Williams was watching the games play out and seemed none too pleased that the referees seem to be clamping down on celebrations as well.
As Williams tweeted, one of his biggest takeaways from watching the action was how the referees are penalizing players for celebrating on the field. As Williams tweeted, he feels as if the rules are being applied very strictly, and the league simply wants their players to perform like robots on the field now.
Back in 2017, the league relaxed their celebration rules, but four years later, there’s been more than a bit of a change to that mantra. Entering into this season, the NFL instructed referees to more strictly enforce taunting rules and that result has shown itself on the field in 2021 to the detriment of the league according to some like Williams.
For a long time, the league’s reputation had been that of being referred to as the “No Fun League” until the rules were loosened. With this move back to stricter celebration rules, it’s clear the players as well as the fans believe things to be trending back in the wrong direction.
Early in a new season, Williams is calling it out, as he believes it is to the detriment of the game. Expecting players to play and react like robots should not be part of the mix as he sees it.
Reeves-Maybin Praised By Dan Campbell for Play
Thoughts on the officials not withstanding, it’s been a great season for Reeves-Maybin. Much of this season, coach Dan Campbell has not been shy about giving credit to linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin multiple times. After Detroit’s ugly loss to Philadelphia, it happened again. Campbell singled out Reeves-Maybin as one of his players who gets it and continues to fight on the field no matter the circumstance of the game.
After the game speaking to the media on Sunday, October 31, Campbell singled out Reeves-Maybin in a big way for never quitting on the field.
“As I’m watching this and it’s brutal and it’s five minutes left in the game, whatever that is, you look at the scoreboard and you look out on the field at the defense. I’m watching Jalen Reeves-Maybin all out, all out every play,” Campbell said. “Trying to get a turnover, running through guys, trying to make a play, running behind, making a tackle, running the sideline. That’s what I’m looking for. Because when we get enough of those guys when are all out all the time, I just thing back to whenever I was part of a loser or even some of the best I’ve been around. It should really really make you burn to where it make you go that much harder is what it should do.”
Reeves-Maybin has taken on a bigger role since he was inserted into the starting lineup following the departure of Jamie Collins. He has performed well, putting up 34 tackles and 1 forced fumble so far this season and being the kind of player the Lions and their staff can depend on.
Thankfully, Reeves-Maybin and his team have not been flagged on such a call, but it doesn’t prevent him from seeing the injustice.