What does it take for a player to be ejected from a game?

What does it take for a player to be ejected from a game?

“Tens of millions of NFL fans watch games each week during the season. During each contest, the league’s world-class athletes overwhelmingly conduct themselves in a way that honours the sport and respects the game, their fellow players, the fans and the league.” NFL Football Operations

The above statement from the NFL Football Operations website could not be further from what happened in last night’s game between New York Giants and Carolina Panthers.

The heated exchange between Odell Beckham Jr and Josh Norman is something I haven’t witnessed before. Sure, I’ve seen the occasional fight and I generally put it down to a heated moment, passion of the game, when it happens once or twice you can sometimes understand it, but the way they were targeting one another made a mockery of the game and made me lose respect for both players.

It got dangerous and to the point where targeting one another seemed more important than the objective which both teams set out before the game – to win.

Beckham drew three personal fouls in the game, with the worst coming in the third quarter when the Giants star was penalised for a nasty blindside hit to Norman’s head. There will be fines and potentially suspension but a lot of fans, myself included, questioned this during the game, and many have questioned it since – why wasn’t Odell ejected from the game? This is now in the hands on the NFL to investigate further but in a situation like that where a player is targeting another to cause injury, what does it take for a player to be ejected?

Ahead of the 15-16 season, the NFL’s Competition Committee approved rules changes and points of emphasis for 2015-16. Included in this is that fighting is unacceptable and the league policy on fighting is clear and states the following: “Don’t fight, and if a fight breaks out involving other players, stay away.”

It also says that 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. So this last statement, if you look at the blindside hit, it absolutely should have resulted in an ejection. However, there is perhaps more to it that we’re being told and there’s a reason the referees didn’t make the call. I’m sure we’ll find out soon…

What are your thoughts?

2 thoughts on “What does it take for a player to be ejected from a game?

  1. Hi Liz, Saw Neil Reynolds retweet of the link to the blog.

    I am a Giants fan, and felt very frustrated and disappointed in Odell Beckham Jr and his conduct during the game. I understand the trash talking in the lead up to games and during games, it is no different to sledging in cricket and try and gain a psychological advantage over an opponent. I think what ever Josh Norman said during the game definitely worked. OBJ lost his head and his cool. Looking at when OBJ wasn’t looking for Norman to fight and played properly he had the beating of his, but allowed a button to be pressed and he saw red and couldn’t channel that anger apart from the need to fight.

    The blindside helmet hit was disgusting and I almost feel a fine is not enough, maybe a game ban or more. It was after the play had ended so can’t even argue “I went to make a play and misjudged it.”

    As for Giants coaching staff and Officials and why OBJ wasn’t ejected to forced to sit down and chill out I can’t answer that…all I can do is give a rather weak excuse. I have seen Tom Coughlin came out and said he thought of benching OBJ and they could have moved him around the formation to avoid Norman to get him focus, but reality Giants needed a win to give then a real good chance of making the playoffs and wanted their best player on the field. As for officials they understand this is the business end of the season and passion boils over, but there was too much of it in this instance….I think OBJ should have been ejected, but also believe there is no smoke without fire and Norman should have been ejected as well. It isn’t like OBJ was frustrated at being shepherded around the field and needed to vent his frustration and thus just ejecting him.

    Does NFL need to go the route of Ice Hockey and Rugby and have sin binning for 10 mins of playing time to get players to cool down? I think it in this instance it did.

    As a fan of the NFL I wanted to watch an NFL game not the old plays punctuating a fight between OBJ and Norman and really wanted the officials to eject them both so the game could continue without the extras after each play.

    I have to applaud the rest of the Giants and the Panthers players who didn’t get involved in anything, because I am sure they want to protect their own team mates and it could have escalated.

  2. Hi,

    A good read. Personally I felt that Beckham took it to the next level, in fact having looked at at the on field incidents between the two I got the impression that Norman was intent on playing football while Ballerina Beckham was focused on child’s play. One game ban simply not harsh enough although it does come at a timely moment. The real test is how much the punishment teaches the punished, in time we shall see.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top