NFL warns teams against game-day fighting in memo

In light of recent on-field skirmishes on game days, the NFL sent a memo to teams this week warning against altercations and fighting before and during games.

“Sportsmanship and respect are at the core of NFL football,” the memo read, in part, “and fighting is irreconcilable with these values.”

The NFL added that it intended to “strongly enforce” its game day policies on fighting, reiterating that teams are required to warm up within their own 45-yard lines prior to kickoff and that violations of this policy will result in potential penalties against the club or players.

Players or team personnel involved in fighting could be subject to disqualification, fines and/or suspension, the memo warned. In addition, clubs whose players or personnel are involved in a fight are subject to forfeiture of draft picks and/or a significant fine.

The league added that it will continue to review video footage if violations of its fighting policies are identified.

Examples of recent fighting on game days include the Browns and 49ers scuffling before their Week 6 contest in Cleveland; a third-quarter back-and-forth between the Giants and Bills during Sunday Night Football; and altercations between Odell Beckham and Jeffery Simmons during last week’s Ravens-Titans game in London. Four players from the New York-Buffalo fight were each fined $10,927 for unnecessary roughness, while Beckham was fined $33,317 and Simmons was fined $11,473 for similar violations, NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero reported Saturday.

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