In what might be termed a dark horse bid for attention, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is calling for the NFL to change its language regarding one particular penalty.
The NFL’s annual meeting will be held from March 27 through March 30.
Through a letter it says it sent to NFL Competition Committee Chairman Rich McKay, PETA is asking the league to ban the term “horse-collar tackle.”
In a news release on Wednesday, the animal rights group claimed that the term “makes light of using tight harnesses to exploit horses for labor.”
“Words matter, and the term ‘horse-collar tackle’ trivializes an old-style contraption that exploits horses for labor,” PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said in the letter.
“You could score a touchdown for horses by instead converting it to the ‘Goodell Grab’ or ‘back-collar tackle,’ as neither of these terms normalizes animal abuse,” she wrote.
PETA said it “wants the name of the penalty replaced with the ‘Goodell Grab’ — referring to the reported $128 million money grab the commissioner received in compensation over the past two years.”
The NFL rule book describes a horse-collar infraction this way:
“No player shall grab the inside collar of the back or the side of the shoulder pads or jersey, or grab the jersey at the name plate or above, and pull the runner toward the ground.
“This does not apply to a runner who is in the tackle box or to a quarterback who is in the pocket.”
If a quarterback is inside the pocket, there can be no foul for a horse-collar tackle. However, once the QB is outside of the pocket, the horse-collar penalty applies. This is a good call by the refs in #BALvsKC as Mahomes is clearly outside of the pocket. pic.twitter.com/1yuEkwwvKU
— Gene Steratore (@GeneSteratore) September 22, 2019
PETA also suggested that the penalty could be renamed the “Roy Williams tackle” in honor of the former Dallas Cowboys safety whose use of the tackling tactic led to four players being injured, prompting the NFL to ban the tackle in 2005.
The group’s suggestion drew a horse laugh from many on Twitter.
@TMKSonYES @TMKSESPN @DonLagreca @RealMichaelKay @Rosenbergradio PETA lost all credibility when they suggested renaming bullpen to arm barn to not offend bulls. Changing horse collar tackle in football is just more absurdity.
— Peter Burke (@TruePeterBurke) March 17, 2022
Is P.E.T.A. kidding they want the NFL to change the name of “Horse Collar Tackle” which by the way is banned in the NFL. What a joke, with all that’s going on in the world today, that’s the best PETA can do. This organization need to rethink their priorities.
— b0m5jgr (@b0m5jgr1) March 17, 2022
It’s good to know that human civilization is doing so great that we have time to worry about this crap. Innocent civilians in the Ukraine are getting blown to pieces by bombs and we’re worried about this crap? Priorities, people. https://t.co/n2KW2WEPE7
— Robby Anthony (@Cosmic_Ranter) March 17, 2022
Annnd PETA gets even stupider. https://t.co/1yCjo60UxO
— Slee (@sleethestak) March 17, 2022
PETA said the change was in line with what it claimed was its “well-received” call for baseball to rename the bullpen the “arm barn.”
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