Football Rules-“The Ricky rule or Ricky Williams rule”
One of the football rules was named after the Ricky Williams is best known for his “recreational activities” and his hair, which in 2003 caused the NFL to clarify a rule that declared a player’s hair as an extension of his uniform and that it’s legal for players to grab on it when attempting to tackle a ball carrier.This one of the football rules was named ” The Ricky rule” after him, who came into the league sporting dreadlocks.
The most memorable hair tackle came not against Williams but when Larry Johnson pulled down Troy Polamalu. Johnson added a little extra when he also pulled him up by his hair and was fined for his actions.There is not a penalty for pulling hair in the NFL. The “rule” is that if a players hair is long enough that it reaches the jersey, it’s part of the uniform and can be used to pull the player down, therefore it’s up to the player to keep their hair short.
While it isn’t a penalty, the official can call unnecessary roughness but that is ultimately up to the ref, and it is widely frowned upon in the league.
In 2006, Williams’ “recreational activities” caused him to be suspended for a season as he violated the league’s substance abuse policy multiple times. The Miami Dolphins allowed him to play in the Canadian Football League during his suspension, which led to another rule change in his honor. After the CFL was heavily criticized for allowing someone serving a ban in another league to play, commissioner Tom Wright introduced a rule that would prevent a player suspended by the NFL to play in the CFL.
During the 2013 season, there was a play where defensive end Jason Babin caught running back Andre Ellington by the hair and even ripped out a couple of his dreadlocks. There was no flag thrown. No hard feelings between players.
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