A European Football League player used his opponent’s long hair to make a tackle in a controversial moment that left fans questioning whether or not the play was legal, with some calling it “downright dirty”.
Footage of the wild play shows Frankfurt Galaxy linebacker Weil Nasri chasing Rhein Fire running back Glen Toonga and pulling his dreadlocks to make a tackle early in the third quarter on September 17.
Seconds into the play, Toonga got up and charged at Nasri before the two teams had to go their separate ways.
The referees stopped play for a short period after the play, as Toonga can be seen walking towards his sideline with his hands placed on top of his head.
Fans have flooded social media over the controversial piece.
“So… You can grab the hair but not the helmet mask, that’s stupid. Isn’t the helmet also part of the uniform?” a user responded on X, the platform officially known as Twitter.
“It’s downright dirty” said another user against the hair-pulling tackle.
Although many were quick to raise their eyebrows about the piece, a handful of others deemed it perfectly legal.
“Yeah, hair is part of the uniform,” one user said, which created a whole other thread with others debating the no-call.
“Legal but morally wrong,” another commenter said.
A football coach entered the debate by giving his opinion on a personal matter with one of his players.
“It’s completely legal as a coach, I wanted my son and my players to have their hair braided and tucked into the helmet as well as the jersey tucked in, it’s true,” the coach relayedaccording to the Mail.
Others have wallowed in a debate about collaring horses as it relates to hair pulling.
“Yes, but it should be a horse collar by definition of uniform material,” argued one angry user.
“Um negative you can’t grab the inside of the collar area of the jersey or the same shoulder pads, hair has always been fair game,” one person rebutted.
There is no rule in the European Football League that prohibits a player from pulling an opponent’s hair to make a tackle – but, just like in the NFL, pulling a facemask and head tackles Horse collars are not allowed at the Euro.
The NFL implemented the rule, known as “Ricky’s Rule”, when Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams was grabbed and pulled by the hair during a tackle against the Miami Jets. New York in 2003.
After the game, the NFL decided that hair would be considered part of a player’s uniform and that it would be legal to catch it on a tackle, the New York Times reported.