Football is violent, but a European Football League player brought tackling to another level, dragging the ball carrier down by his hair.
Is this a legal tackle? ? pic.twitter.com/BNexXQdG5x
— DJ Kam Bennett (@KameronBennett) September 19, 2023
This type of tackle has happened before—Eddie Lacy, DeAngelo Williams, Marion Barber, and many others over the year across multiple levels of the sport have had the unfortunate fate of getting tackled by a defender pulling their hair.
The player here was Glen Toonga, a running back for Rhein Fire. He was "tackled" by Frankfurt Galaxy linebacker Weil Nasri, and many are calling the third quarter of their September 17 matchup hair-pull "straight-up dirty," according to the New York Post.
After the play, Toonga got up and charged at Nasri before the referees stopped the game.
X users took to the platform to provide their own commentary on the play.
"So... You can grab the hair but not the helmet mask, that's stupid Is not the helmet also part of the uniform?" one user replied on X.
So... You can grab the hair but not the helmet mask, that's stupid
Is not the helmet also part of the uniform?
— ??Nando?????? (@FernaDriguez) September 20, 2023
"Straight up dirty," another user said.
Straight up dirty
— Pancho (@pancho247365) September 20, 2023
While some may be opposed to the tackle, it's a legal play, as many other users pointed out, despite the "moral wrongness"—as some would refer to it—of it.
It?s completely legal as a coach I wanted my son & players to have their hair braided & tucked in the helmet as well as the jersey tucked in
Anything u can grab except the face mask is legal
— Sports&Memes Rob (@RobertIsOnX) September 19, 2023
There's no rule in the European Football League against it, though, like the NFL players cannot tackle via the facemask or perform a horse-collar tackle.
The NFL has a rule involving hair-pull tackles stemming from 2003 when Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams was grabbed by his hair in a game against the New York Jets. The rule is known as the "Ricky Rule," fittingly.
As a result of the play, the NFL ruled that the hair is part of the uniform and deemed perfectly legal, for better or worse.
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