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NFL Rules for Hair Pulling

Extension of the Uniform

    The NFL sees hair that pours out of the back of helmet as an extension of the uniform. Defensive players are free to pull the hair to make a tackle. In 2008, NFL owners discussed forcing players to tie up or cut their hair if it obscured the name on the back of their jersey. The proposition failed, allowing NFL players to continue to sport long hair at their own risk. There have been incidents where penalties have been called for mistaken horse-collar tackles when the player was actually well within the rules; pulling hair, not the collar. And overly vicious hair-pull tackles have been flagged and fined for unsportsmanlike conduct.

About the Author

Christopher Michael began writing in 2010 for He received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Writing sports and travel articles helps support his professional baseball career, which has taken him to 49 states, five continents and four oceans.

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