Bears pass rusher Cassius Marsh fined by NFL for controversial taunting penalty vs. Steelers, per report

Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

One of the more controversial topics through the first half of the season has been the NFL’s new emphasis on taunting penalties throughout the league. That was on full display Monday when Bears pass rusher Cassius Marsh was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct in the midst of Chicago’s Week 9 matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Marsh did his normal karate-kick celebration following a fourth-quarter sack and then strutted a few steps towards the Pittsburgh sideline. That led to referee Tony Corrente throwing a flag on Marsh, which erased a key third-down stop in the eventual Bears’ loss. 

Not only did that infraction stunt Chicago’s chances of pulling out a win, but it’s now made Marsh a bit lighter in his wallet. According to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, the league informed Marsh on Friday that he is being fined $5,972 for that penalty. Marsh plans to appeal the fine in hopes of getting it rescinded. Specifically, the fine references Section 3, Article 1(c) of the rulebook where it prohibits “using baiting or taunting acts or words that may engender ill will between teams.”

On the play in question, there was also brief contact between Marsh and Corrente. Marsh said after the game that the referee “hip-checked” him as he went to the sideline. Corrente said the contact did not contribute to him throwing the flag. 

Entering Week 9, there had been 35 taunting penalties called through 136 games. 

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