Fighting video sends mixed signal to players

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In 2015, the NFL has made in-game fighting a point of emphasis. (In-practice fighting is apparently still OK.) But there’s a problem with the communication of the new approach, as demonstrated by the video that explains the situation to players.

The clip has been posted by executive V.P. of football operations Troy Vincent on Twitter. Buried among the vast array of responses that only Twitter can generate is a great point: The video sends a mixed signal to players regarding the accepted behavior when a fight breaks out.

“Don’t fight, and if a fight breaks out involving other players, stay away,” the narrator says. “Any active participant in a fight will be penalized. Flagrant conduct will result in ejections, and any player that does not immediately leave the fight area will be subject to a fine. Peacemaking won’t be accepted as an excuse for entering the area. The best thing to do is get yourself and your teammates out of a fight area.” (Emphasis added.)

So where’s the line between “peacemaking” that won’t be accepted as an excuse for entering a fight area and the desired behavior of “get[ting] yourself and your teammates out of a fight area”?  It’s the kind of thing that could be decided on a case-by-case basis, with no clear, objective standard for determining the difference. And it will create the impression that the NFL is making the rules up as it goes.

The better advice for players would be to immediately leave the fight area, with no mention of teammates. Each player should have an independent obligation to exit the fight area and/or to not enter it, and nothing more. By urging players to try to get teammates out of a fight area, the NFL could be encouraging players to do the very thing for which they could be disciplined.

33 responses to “Fighting video sends mixed signal to players

  1. I heard that Troy Vincent isn’t allowed near revolving doors because once he goes in he just runs in circles for hours.

  2. Peacemaking occurs between opponents of some kind, as in sticking one’s nose between two players having at it in this case. In other words…two on one. Getting your teammate out of the skirmish only involves teammates.

  3. The wiser thing to say, would be to encourage peacemaking or breaking up the fight, by grabbing only your own teammates, but not engage with opposing players.

  4. “And it will create the impression that the NFL is making the rules up as it goes.”

    I think the actions of the NFL over the past twelve months has already created the impression that the NFL is making the rules up as it goes.

  5. Isn’t it obvious that there’s a difference between taking yourself and or a teammate away from the fight, and trying to intervene and pull an opponent away from the fight?

  6. Just another example of how the cretins at the NFL offices handles everything. Now they’ve put players in a situation where if they do what the league requires of them and try to get their teammates away from a fight they open themselves to arbitrary punishment by an office that has proven they are not responsible enough to hold that power.

    Imagine a league office that will punish one player is fine and another will be punished for doing the same thing. And the same league office can do what they want because they believe they are beyond any over sight

  7. Unnecessary injuries from cheap shots. Refs need more control.
    Another thing if players were made to tackle not try to take the heads off the opponents injuries will be cut in half.
    It is called Tackle Football. …

  8. You would think that with organized labor, the NFL would have gotten really good at spelling things out clearly and concisely. All that practice with CBAs and they STILL can’t even write a rule that makes it less confusing.

  9. It’s bad enough that after watching football for 45 years I now have no idea of what constitutes a catch. Now they throw some arbitrary out there about fighting and peacemaking?

    How about just leaving the rules alone, believe it or not football prospered pretty well before Godell got his hands on the league.

    And what kind of man would stay out of a fight if two or more guys were on his team mate? Not a man I’d want on my team, that’s for sure.

  10. This speaks to the lack of detail and professionalism within the NFL Offices, starting with Goodell. Deflategate has become the can of worms that never should have been opened. Every day, new revelations of incompetence and self-serving acts further undermine the credibility of the office and, by extension, the NFL itself.

  11. Like many of the league’s new rules the last few years, it is unclear and gives the league plenty of room as to who they want to penalize.

    Ie; if the Pats are involved in a fight every player on the team will likely get fined and several ejected.

    If the Colts, Jets or Ravens get in fights the league will turn there eyes and I doubt even a single player will get fined, much less ejected.

    This is all to allow random punishment as Goodell wants to dish out to teams he dislikes.

  12. Every comment above reflecting upon the arbitrary and capricious nature of the NFL are 100% spot on. These idiots want controversy and reasons to become involved without consequences on them. It’s all about POWER.

  13. So where’s the line between “peacemaking” that won’t be accepted as an excuse for entering a fight area and the desired behavior of “get[ting] yourself and your teammates out of a fight area”?

    ***********************************

    That’s an easy one…

    If it’s a Patri*t, being in the fight area at all is cause for immediate ejection and a heavy fine / suspension or both.

    If it’s anyone else it’s a slap on the wrist.

    The Patri*ts better start getting used to this type of treatment since they have definitely replaced the Raiders in the NFL’s dog house.

    Penalty flags at key moments in tight games will be coming their way too.

    Kraft had it right in the first place when he accepted the fine and loss of draft picks over DeflateGate. Now, the Patri*ts will be paying the price on the installment plan just like the Raiders did for years.

  14. After explaining the new edict from the NFL Troy Vincent was then heard to state, “My cats breath smells like cat food.”

    He then left the podium, stumbling and falling upon a toy he was carrying. As he cried he lamented the destruction of his prized toy, “I bent my wookie.”

  15. Don Humphrey says:
    Aug 26, 2015 9:56 AM
    This speaks to the lack of detail and professionalism within the NFL Offices, starting with Goodell. Deflategate has become the can of worms that never should have been opened. Every day, new revelations of incompetence and self-serving acts further undermine the credibility of the office and, by extension, the NFL itself.

    —–
    Well said!!!

  16. floriohaslosthisedgyroots says:
    Aug 26, 2015 9:27 AM
    Peacemaking occurs between opponents of some kind, as in sticking one’s nose between two players having at it in this case. In other words…two on one. Getting your teammate out of the skirmish only involves teammates.


    No. Say your teammate thinks he took a cheap shot and he’s hot. He’s the one starting the fight. You try to calm him down and stop him from fighting. As happened in a Pats game last year, maybe you tackle your friend to keep him out of trouble, maybe you put yourself between him and the guy he wants to deck…you’re the peacemaker and according to the arbitrary NFL, they can fine you because you didn’t just try to get your teammate off the field. The problem with the NFL is no one knows if they’ll interpret that as trying to get your teammate off the field or trying to act as a peacemaker or “more probably than not being generally aware” that there was a fight going on and you were part of it. 4 game suspension.

  17. Well…what about the good Samaritan law…(thnx to Seinfeld)…

    I am sure NFL will quote that the next time they stick it to the PATS…when Geno & some DB go at each other…PATS will get suspended as they didnt intervene & violated the good Samaritan law…a future 1st round pick & 1 Million…

  18. It would shock us all if they did something correctly and was not contradictory.

    Amazing that they cant make policies and rules that are crystal clear.

    You do this, this is the punishment.

    You do this, this is the punishment.

    Amazing what morons are employed in the League Office and What a moron the Commissioner is

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