NFL Fines Three Players For Championing Important Social Causes, Which Makes Total Sense
Just when you think the NFL can’t possibly get more callous and obtuse, they go and fine two Pittsburgh Steelers players $5,787 each for supporting social causes close to their hearts.
Cornerback William Gay was fined for wearing purple cleats to show support for domestic violence awareness. Running back DeAngelo Williams was fined for wearing eye black with the words “find the cure” written on it.
The amount of the fines is the standard amount for first offense uniform violations.
As you might recall, Williams had recently asked the league if he could wear pink breast cancer awareness gear for the entire season as a tribute to his mother, who lost her battle with the disease in 2010. But the league said no, so Williams went back to wearing his customized “find the cure” eye black, which he has been doing for years without getting fined.
The story is similar with William Gay’s purple cleats. He wears them to honor his mother, who was murdered by his step father when he was just seven years old. The longtime advocate of domestic violence awareness has been wearing purple cleats for a while, and the NFL never had a problem with it before.
So what’s changed from the NFL’s point of view? You’ll have to ask Roger Goodell. The league also fined Steelers defensive end Cam Heyward an undisclosed amount for writing “IRON HEAD” on his eye black as a tribute to his father, who died from cancer in 2006. In that case, the NFL said they’re totally cool with messages on eye black, just so long as they get to choose what the message is. Which is stupid.
In any case, the message the NFL is sending with all this couldn’t be more clear:
Use your fame to champion a worthy cause in a way that doesn’t detract from the game in the slightest? We’ll fine your ass.
Hat Tip – [ESPN]