NFL to consider making hair pulling illegal

It’s a play we have seen often in the NFL, but it was again the center of conversations after Texans linebacker Jadeveon Clowney dragged Bills running back Chris Ivory to the ground.

It was a legal move, but it involved a unique part of the body — Ivory’s hair. The hair pull was among the topics discussed in senior vice president of officiating Al Riveron’s weekly rules video.

“Right now this is legal,” Riveron said in the video. “This was brought up to the Competition Committee a couple of years ago and to the Player’s Association and they decided at that time not to do anything about it, but again we’re going to bring it up again this year and talk to the Player’s Association and the Competition Committee and see if there’s any interest in having a rule change when it comes to this situation.”

Maneuvering around hair pulling can get tricky.

One solution would be to limit the length of a player’s hair, but the Collective Bargaining Agreement states athletes cannot be disciplined based on hair length. Another solution would be to make the move illegal, which could encourage players to grow out their hair to try to draw a penalty.

This issue with the hair grab is that it can be just as dangerous as a horse-collar tackle. The subject was also brought up last season when a player was flagged for a horse collar after bring their opponent down by their hair.