Seattle Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham was trying to prevent a scrum from getting out of control in the second quarter of the Seahawks-Panthers game. Instead, he got a penalty, thanks to a dumb NFL rule that's new this season.
Marshawn Lynch ran eight yards and a chippy game started to get a little more chippy when he was brought down, with bodies grabbing at the ball and getting hostile. Graham came into the scrum and pulled Panthers safety Kurt Coleman out of the mix. Coleman was grabbing and possibly punching at Graham's teammate. Graham was trying to protect his teammate and prevent the moment from getting out of control.
But the NFL, in its determination to remove any and all things that might offend the delicate sensibilities of ... someone, made it illegal for players to pull their peers out of a pile like that, making it an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Graham got flagged and moved the Seahawks back 7 yards as a result.
Coleman didn't get a penalty, though he probably could have. Nobody else got a flag but Graham. The NFL has decided to further remove players' ability to police themselves throughout the course of a game. This is the most NFL thing ever.
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