NFL referees seem to have come up with all kinds of strange ways to throw penalty flags this season.

The taunting penalties are getting out of control and we’ve even seen one referee purposefully make contact with a player to justify his call.

On Sunday, Detroit Lions left guard Jonah Jackson earned an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty at the end of the third quarter of their game against the Cleveland Browns because he said something mean about Browns defensive end Jadeveon Clowney’s mother.

He quite literally got penalized for a “your mama” joke.

The penalty was a costly one, too. The Lions were driving down the field during a one-score game. The penalty forced them into a first-and-25 situation that killed their momentum. After that, they punted and were unable to get back in the endzone, eventually losing 13-10.

“I don’t know what to tell you,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said after the game. “It was something that is said. It was something about somebody’s mother, OK? And there was a lot of talking going on out there, but so it was a penalty.”

For his part, Jackson doesn’t remember exactly what he said, only that things got way too heated and he let his emotions get the better of him.

“First of all I should have never even put my team in that situation, but it was the heat of the moment, heat of the game,” Jackson said. “We actually chopped it up after, apologized. It was both sides, but definitely should have never been in that situation to begin with.”

Browns’ defensive end Myles Garrett didn’t hear what was said but he did tell reporters that “a ‘your mama’ joke will probably get you booked every time.”

As you might imagine, there were some pretty fun responses to the penalty on social media.

[Dave Birkett, Freep]

About Sean Keeley

Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and many other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle.