Former defensive back Al Harris is credited with ushering in the most recent trend of long hair and dreadlocks. He began growing his hair during his rookie season of 1997, a style that is emulated by many players.
“He’s the first player I saw wearing dreads,” Miami defensive back Louis Delmas told ESPN.com in 2012.
New York Jets linebacker Jason Babin, who played for Jacksonville in 2013, ripped a chunk of hair from Arizona running back Andre Ellington’s head while making a tackle in a game that season.
An Arizona official tweeted after the game that Ellington’s hair was returned to him in a plastic bag.
“When you play hard and fast, it’s anything you can grab,” Babin said after the game.
Former Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu, Cincinnati defensive lineman Domata Peko and other players of Samoan descent keep their hair long as a tribute to their heritage.
Andy Johnston wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email email@example.com (include name, phone and city).