JJ Watt compares NFL's hip-drop tackle ban to flag football as players chime in on controversial rule change

The NFL banned the hip-drop tackle by a unanimous vote of team owners on Monday in a controversial decision the league argued would improve player safety.

The rule change immediately sparked emotional responses from players past and present.

Opponents of the decision argue that the rule fundamentally changes the way the game is played, and further bends the rules in favor of offenses as the league protects its most marketable players.

The NFLPA rejected the proposal in a statement ahead of the vote last week, arguing that the change would “cause confusion for players, coaches, officials and especially fans.”

Jeff Miller, executive vice president of the NFL's competition committee, argued in favor of a ban in October, declaring that hip drop tackles “cause about 25 times the injury of a typical tackle.” That argument ultimately won out as owners officially voted to ban the technique at league meetings in Orlando on Monday.

JJ Watt leads the critical player response

Players weighed in after Monday's vote, and many of them joined the NFLPA's critical stance. Among them is retired three-time defensive tackle JJ Watt. He compared the ban to flag football on social media.

Kenyan Drake – wounded in '21 – is among the regime's supporters

Although player response was heavily critical of the decision, it was not unanimous. A pair of offensive players, including running back Kenyan Drake, were among Rule's proponents. Drake suffered a broken ankle on a tackle in 2021 The rules of handling need to be changed After. He came out in favor of the rule change on Monday.

Retired Pro Bowl tackle Kyle Long also supported the change and said the league's effort would “reduce the potential for serious injury.”

Former New England Patriots receiver Julian Edelman took a two-pronged approach.

But the majority of players' responses on social media were not in favor of the change, with more vocal opponents, including former and current high-profile defenders.

Like it or not, the new rule cannot be changed now. At least not for the upcoming season. If implemented as planned, the rule is meant to reduce the risk of injury in violent sports. It also plans to change the way sports are played and watched on Sundays.

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Get ready for the most hotly debated penalty flags as the league, its players and officials adapt to a sea change.

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