PLAYERS WITH FLOWING hair or nifty dreadlocks may soon be in for a world of pain.
A leading official with the Canadian Football League has declared that long hair should be considered part of a players uniform and open to rigorous tackling methods.
Speaking on Monday, CFL’s director of officiating, Tom Higgins, said it is up to individual players to care for their hair.
It followed two incidents in Sunday’s CFL game between the Toronto Argonauts and Montreal Alouettes. Montreal’s kick-returner Trent Guy was twice yanked to the ground by his dreadlocks.
On the second occasion, in the Alouette’s 31-10 win, a penalty was called but it was quickly overturned. Higgins said:
It’s part of the uniform. It’s like tackling a guy by the arm.
“It’s a part of him so you’re allowed to use it to make a tackle.”
Guy, speaking after the match, said rival players often targeted his dreadlocks and revealed that he often held it together with pins to make it harder to grasp.
Guy ran in a remarkable 129-yard missed field-goal return in his side’s win.
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As TSN reports, the National Football League in America also considers hair that falls past a player’s helmet as part of the uniform and therefore can be used to make a tackle. Higgins added:
There’s not one football player who would go on to the football field with a ill-fitted jersey. Why guys have it (long hair) that are going to carry the football, I don’t know.
“Yes, it’s a style and personal preference but I think it hurts the team when you give somebody an additional advantage.”