31 January 2023
Football players use a variety of tactics to successfully tackle their opponents, and one common question is whether tackling by hair is allowed in the NFL.
The answer is an unequivocal no – tugging or grasping onto someone’s hair during a game result in unnecessary roughness penalties being called by referees. So if you want to remain on the right side of the law while playing football, remember that as far as tackles are concerned — keep your hands away from any tufts!
Why is it not allowed to tackle a football player by their hair?
The rule prohibiting tackling by the hair is in place for a variety of reasons; primarily, it is to ensure everyone’s safety. When someone tugs on another player’s hair, they can easily lose their balance and fall ungracefully which could lead to dire consequences. Furthermore, such an act may be extremely painful and potentially damage their mane itself.
Football is a physical game, that’s for sure. But to remain in line with the spirit of sportsmanship and fair play, tackling by the hair goes beyond what is permissible on a football field – it’s strictly off-limits.
So when you’re at an NFL game or watching one broadcasted live, if you witness someone being tackled via their hair – know that this incurs a penalty from the officials who will throw up flags as confirmation of indisputable rule-breaking. The offending team will then be appropriately penalized accordingly without fail!
But what about players who have long hair?
Can they be tackled by their hair even if it is not intentional?
While it is still not legal to tackle a player by their hair, the rule does make an exception for players who have long hair that is not contained within their helmet or uniform. In these cases, the hair may be grabbed or pulled unintentionally while a player is being tackled. In these situations, it is up to the officials to determine whether or not the infraction was intentional. If it is determined that the hair grab was accidental, no penalty will be called.
There have been a few high-profile instances of players being tackled by their hair in the NFL.
Some hair-pulling cases in the NFL
One notable example is when Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen tackled Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III by his hair during a 2013 game. Griffen was flagged for unnecessary roughness and the Vikings were penalized 15 yards.
Another example is when Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill was tackled by his hair by Los Angeles Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward during a 2017 game. Hayward was not flagged for the infraction, but the play was reviewed by the NFL and he was later fined $9,115 for unnecessary roughness.
Getting physical while respecting each other
While tackling by the hair is not a common occurrence in the NFL, it is important for players to be aware of the rule and avoid engaging in this type of behavior. Football is a physical sport, but it is also a game that requires players to respect their opponents and play by the rules.
In summary, it is not legal to tackle a player by their hair in the NFL. This rule is in place for the safety and sportsmanship of all players, and any infractions will result in a penalty for the offending team. Players with long hair are not exempt from this rule, but accidental hair grabs may be overlooked if it is determined that they were unintentional.