More than once last season in the NFL officials failed to eject players who clearly deserved to be tossed from games. As a result, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is proposing a rule that would mean an automatic ejection for players who incur two personal fouls in one contest.
On top of that, the league is going to encourage referees to remember they do have the power to eject players. NFL Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino, speaking with Peter King of MMQB, made this clear:
“We will reaffirm that the rulebook does allow us some discretion when it comes to ejection,” Blandino said. “We’ll make sure they understand that they have that power and they shouldn’t shy away when it is necessary.”
Under the proposed guidelines of Goodell’s new ejection policy, it’s interesting to note Odell Beckham Jr. wouldn’t have been automatically ejected for his actions against Josh Norman last year.
However, Blandino used this event as an example of an instance in which officials should have used their discretionary power to eject him anyway.
“I think everybody agreed that that was flagrant enough to eject. And that was the message to the game officials as part of the teaching and training after the fact,” Blandino said.
As it stands, the league did take a hard-line stance against Beckham Jr.’s outrageous dirty hit against Norman (watch here) and suspended the receiver for the next game, which just so happened to be one of the most important games of the year for the New York Giants.
It’s good that the NFL is making it clear to officials that ejections shouldn’t be something to shy away from. We’ve witnessed players punching other players (an ejection-worthy offense) only to remain in games many times in recent years. That kind of obvious unsportmanlike activity shouldn’t be tolerated, especially with so many children watching games.
On the other hand, it’s kind of scary knowing an ejection could be coming much quicker this year than it has been in years past. Players must be on their best behavior going forward, because in the heat of battle it’s easy to lose one’s cool.