NFL Hazing: Harmless Pranks or Sending a Bad Message?

A recent post on Care2 asked whether or not hazing on NFL teams sent a bad message. Two recent hazing incidents made news. The first was when a rookie on the Dallas Cowboys refused to participate in the hazing. The second was when Tim Tebow showed up on national TV with a crazy haircut. 

While some teams consider this old tradition that is nothing more than fun and games, others see it as a potentially dangerous situation. Anti-hazing groups bring up a viable question: does NFL hazing promote the idea of hazing to college and high school students?

The NFL players that participate in these sorts of things say that they are just harmless pranks, and for the most part they are. They are simply silly haircuts or a rookie being asked to carry extra water or gear to the practice field. The problem is that they set an example that hazing is okay at sports highest level. And, while NFL players may have the mental maturity to know what's a harmless prank and what is not, the college and high school players that look up to them may not. 

Even things that may seem harmless can get taken too far and have repercussions that extend beyond needing a new haircut. NFL players need to realize that they don't live in a bubble, and the coaches and owners need to step in and stop these hazings from continuing. 

Disclosure: I work at Care2 as a Communications Manager. These opinions are my own and do not reflect those of Care2.

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