John Mara is “sick and tired” of taunting.
The Giants owner is not a fan of NFL players taunting, and his role on the league’s competition committee means his voice carries a bit of weight when it comes to rule changes.
On Tuesday, Mara explained his point of view on taunting and offered justification of the increased emphasis on taunting enforcement this year:
That’s something we discuss every year in the competition committee, we get kind of sick and tired of the talking that does go on from time to time on the field. We try to balance the sportsmanship with allowing the players to have fun. There’s always a fine line. None of us like to see that. It’s just a question of whether you can have rules that can be enforced without taking the fun out of the game, too. Nobody wants to see a player taunting another player. I know I certainly don’t. I know the rest of the members of the competition committee feel the same, too.
MORE: The first ridiculous penalty in the NFL’s new focus on taunting rules
The competition committee is comprised of Mara, Cowboys executive Stephen Jones, Packers president Mark Murphy, Falcons president Rich McKay, Ravens executive Ozzie Newsome, Broncos executive John Elway, and head coaches Mike Tomlin, Sean Payton and Ron Rivera.
Traditionally selected by the commissioner, the competition committee suggests rule changes for owners, who have to vote on the rules during the year.
The question remains: Where are the players in all of this?
The composition of the committee, though, is curious: You’ll find that nowhere in that group is an active or recently retired NFL player. While Newsome and Elway both make the panel, they played in a much more buttoned-down era of the sport. Not giving more of a voice to players to operate with players in mind seems a bit backwards. Bias works both ways, after all.
In any case, the NFL is going to focus a bit more on taunting this year, taking some heated moments out of the game, and Mara will have his way in pushing the NFL towards the No Fun League again.