The most obnoxious part about Cam Newton getting fined $10k for wearing a non League-approved, from the outside looking in, isn’t even the fact that he got fined. It was the notion that Chris Smith of Forbes – the publication which broke this important news – just seems like an act of dry snitching.
Newton’s presumably worn black Under Armour visor clips throughout his career, which probably isn’t notable in and of itself, except that Nike took over as the league’s official apparel partner. After Smith’s story broke, the NFL stepped in and issued the fine, citing the rulebook, which reportedly states “No invisible identification of a manufacturer’s name or logo on the exterior of a helmet or on any attachment to a helmet is permitted unless provided for under a commercial arrangement between the League and manufacturer.”
Smith’s move to word the headline as “Cam Newton Has Committed NFL Rule Violation For His Entire Career” made this outcome inevitable. True, the job of the press is, in a very traditional sense, to keep important people in our society honest and on their toes, but this isn’t a big deal like that. Somewhere, Cam has to be playing “Can I Live” and hoping that Under Armour picks up the tab for the product placement gone awry.