UPDATE: The NFL has addressed the taunting penalty and hip check, so scroll all the way down for all the latest on this bogus and sketchy decision. Plus a clip of what the league defined taunt should be.
From the perspective of many fans, the top story of the Chicago Bears 27 to 29 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers was the career game from rookie quarterback Justin Fields. But the second biggest storyline has to be the disparity of the penalties with the Bears getting hit with 12 for 115 yards, while the Steelers were only flagged 5 times for 30 yards. Some of the penalties were clearly the fault of the Bears players, but some of them were simply ridiculous.
The biggest of which being the fourth quarter taunting penalty that was called on the newest Bear, outside linebacker Cassius Marsh.
Referee Tony Corrente met the media after the game and he said, “I saw the player, after he made a big play, run towards the bench area of the Pittsburgh Steelers and posture in such a way that I felt he was taunting them.”
So he ran towards the Pittsburgh bench area and postured. Marsh didn’t say anything, he just looked in their general direction and gave off a cocky vibe.
In case you need a refresher, here’s a video of Marsh running towards the Steeler bench area.
Here’s video of “taunting” on Cassius Marsh. What a joke. Not a word was said. Looking at the sideline.— Jason McIntyre (@jasonrmcintyre) November 9, 2021
And ref LEANED in!! pic.twitter.com/iSthDECHBK
The backstory on why Marsh may have decided to “run” at their bench and look at them crossly after getting a sack is that the Steelers released him before the 2021 season started.
You’ll also notice in that clip above that the ref, Corrente, turned his hip into Marsh as Marsh ran back to his sideline, and that’s something Marsh addressed after the game. “On my way to the sideline I got hip checked by the ref, and it’s pretty clear,” Marsh said. “If I were to do that to a ref, or even touch a ref, you know we’d get kicked out of the game, possibly suspended and fined.”
He went on to say it was “incredibly inappropriate.”
You can check out the full press conference here.
And you can read all of what Corrente had to say here.
Note: I did this interview, but did not do the transcription. It's important to point out that Tony Corrente stated he was unaware of the contact with Cassius Marsh. The full quote was:— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) November 9, 2021
"That I'm not aware of at all, no. I didn't judge that as anything that I dealt with." https://t.co/SpqnaFsZwO
Mark Maske from The Washington Post Tweeted out some interesting revelations on Tuesday in regards to the taunting penalty and hip check.
“The call was the definition of taunting,” a league source told Maske, “with the player gesturing toward the sideline and opponent.”
First off, as you can clearly see in the clip above, there was no gesture. Marsh looked in the direction of the Steelers’ sideline. But if we’re going to point out gestures made towards an opponents sideline, check out the direction of the kiss that was blown after this T.J. Watt sack.
And I don’t think this celebration should have been flagged either, but I wanted to point out the absurdity of the explanation from Maske’s source.
His source also said that Corrente did not intentionally hip-check Marsh as Marsh ran back to his sideline.
What are your thoughts on the taunting penalty, on the hip check, and on some of the flags that were thrown against the Bears?