By Anthony Hall | March 24th, 2008
Via Fanhouse, Adam Schefter is reporting that the Kansas City Chiefs have proposed a rule that would ban players from having hair that’s long enough to cover the name on their uniform. In other words, if the NFL enacted this suggested rule, Troy Polamalu would need to get a considerable amount of hair cut off before the beginning of next season. From the article:
The Chiefs view longer hair as a uniform violation. But others could interpret it as a safety violation. When Kansas City played Pittsburgh in October 2006, Chiefs running back Larry Johnson pulled down Polamalu from behind grabbing ahold of his hair.
There apparently has been no empirical data that supports that longer hair is a safety issue, but it is an issue with at least one team. And it will generate discussion and debate.Yeah, I certainly see this proposal as a matter of safety rather than uniform obstruction. I haven’t once heard a complaint from teams about not being able to see someone’s name on his uniform through long hair…I mean, if you’re having trouble identifying Polamalu for example, I’d suggest looking for a dude in a Steelers uniform wearing #43, or simply try to spot the guy with ridiculously long hair. Being able to see someone’s name on his jersey doesn’t seem like a big deal to me.
Indeed, I’m not buying the claim that this issue is centered around uniform violations — rather, it’s about the risk that hair tugs pose to NFL players.
So, is it reasonable for the NFL to impose rules restricting the hair length of its players? In a word, no. The NFL is continuing to take this whole “No Fun League” thing to further and further extremes…first, Roger Goodell’s Hater Parade comes through town and takes Ocho Cinco’s touchdown celebrations away, and now they’re looking to make players cut their hair? Is this a sports league meant to provide entertainment, or the freaking US Army?
If players want to have long hair, let them take the risk of getting dragged down from behind in excruciatingly painful fashion. It’s their decision. NFL players are adults…let’s treat them as if they’re responsible enough to pick their own hairstyle.
I know this has been discussed before, but from the sounds of things, this rule just may end up being implemented...