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NFL Makes Statement Out Of Taunting Penalty With $6K Fine For Bears’ Cassius Marsh

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The NFL is standing behind Monday night’s controversial taunting call against Chicago Bears linebacker Cassius Marsh.

NFL insider Tom Pelissero reports the league informed Marsh on Friday he’s being fined $5,972 for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Although taunting has been a point of emphasis all season, NFL Players Association President JC Tretter says players would support the immediate removal of the taunting point of emphasis. Pelissero reports that entering Week 9, officials had thrown 35 flags for taunting in 136 games.

Referee Tony Corrente threw the flag on Marsh, who did a karate-kick celebration then strutted a half-dozen steps toward the Steelers sideline. While Marsh didn’t say anything, the staredown of the Pittsburgh bench was enough for Corrente to pull out his flag.

Pelissero reports the fine letter references Section 3, Article 1 (c) the NFL rulebook, which specifically prohibits “using baiting or taunting acts or words that may engender ill will between teams.”

Marsh dragged down Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on third and eight during the fourth quarter as Chicago trailed Pittsburgh 23-20 with less than four minutes to play, which seemingly forced Pittsburgh to punt. The Steelers went on to beat the Bears 29-27.

After the game, Marsh said he thought the call was “incredibly inappropriate.”

“It’s pretty clear to everybody who saw it that I wasn’t taunting,” Marsh said. “I’ve been doing the celebration my whole career. It’s just sad to see stuff like that happen in a close game like that.”

Marsh plans to appeal in hopes of getting the fine rescinded.

The Bears (3-6) have a Week 10 bye but will face the Baltimore Ravens (6-3) in Week 11.


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Written by Meg Turner

Meg graduated from the University of Central Florida and writes and tweets about anything related to sports. She replies to comments she shouldn't reply to online and thinks the CFP Rankings are absolutely rigged. Follow her on Twitter at @Megnturner_ and Instagram at @Megnturner.

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