The most controversial rule of the 2021 NFL season, taunting, once again reared its ugly head during the “Monday Night Football” matchup between the Chargers and Raiders.

This time, Las Vegas tight end Darren Waller was called for it. His crime? Spiking the ball after his 21-yard reception from Derek Carr earned his team’s first first down of the game — on the team’s fifth offensive possession.

MORE: NFL taunting rules, explained: Why penalties will be called more often during 2021 season

There’s just no place in today’s game for that sort of behavior. Apparently. The penalty negated much of the yardage gained on the play, moving the Raiders from their 41 back to their 26 — a net gain of 6 yards. The Raiders ultimately punted. Las Vegas went on to lose 28-14.

The rule has been heavily criticized by players — including Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady — and fans; the issue came to a head in Week 2, with several questionable calls during the slate making headlines. Bears safety Tashaun Gipson was one of the first to be called for taunting, prompting him to say after the game, “You don’t know if you can be happy.”

Despite the widespread dislike of the rule, Giants owner John Mara said the rule received plenty of support from coaches and owners.

MORE: Mara explains support, implementation of NFL’s new taunting rule focus

“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,” Mara said.

“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,” he added.

MORE: Colts’ LeMay flagged for taunting because he . . . got too excited about his cool run?

Unsurprisingly, Mara’s explanation of the controversial rule has done little to placate those who dislike it. Such was the case on Monday:





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