Politicians Could Learn From the National Football League  

One of the remarkable parts of watching NFL games on television is at the end when the coaches and players who just “fought like hell” against each other converge on the playing field to shake each other’s hands and even hug each other, exchanging congratulations and best wishes to the players who just beat them.

And one of my favorite penalties is for taunting. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a penalty for taunting off the field, including in politics? Nowadays we not only see politicians taunting, insulting and ridiculing each other, but even refusing to concede that they were defeated.

Wikipedia defines taunting as “a battle cry, sarcastic remark, gesture, or insult intended to demoralize the recipient, or to anger them and encourage reactionary behaviors without thinking. Taunting can exist as a form of social competition to gain control of the target’s cultural capital.” Sounds like today’s political discourse, doesn’t it?

In football, a coach can challenge a referee’s call, but the final call after review is accepted without question (except by fans), and the players proceed undaunted, accepting every call and moving quickly to avoid a delay-of-game penalty.