Never Forget, Unless We Tell You To

In a pro football world where wearing high-top cleats to honor the passing of Johnny Unitas can earn you a $25,000 fine, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that players hoping to wear red, white and blue gear on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 is a punishable offense. Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs tweeted about his new patriotic Reebok gear and how he expects to be fined for wearing it. So did Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles. So did Washington Redskins tight end Chris Cooley and Tennssee Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and most of the San Diego Chargers. So whether or not the league approves, they can’t fine everybody for supporting their country … can they?


Reebok great job on these gloves and shoes..looks like I’m getting fined this week. Lol! By far the best fine I will ever have to pay. Thanks…Fines for gloves could be as much as 5k..the shoes 8-10k I think. not 100% on the shoe fine.

Is wearing 9/11 commemorative gear “showboating”? Is it being done to draw attention to the players who choose to break the rules? To give them more media coverage? I’m blogging about them. I think it’s a valid consideration, but when your talking point is “do I or do I not want to show respect and reverence to my country’s worst tragedy in my lifetime” I’d hope the simple gesture of fellowship and patriotism would not go hand-in-hand with the Lambeau Leap. At the same time, what are Never Forget gloves accomplishing, and isn’t there probably a better way for rich people to show their support to the victims of the attacks?

Regardless, don’t assume the league is totally heartless: the NFL and NFLPA will donate $1 million to related charities and memorials. Of course, the average NFL team is worth about $1.04 billion and ESPN just completed an eight-year extension worth as much as $1.9 billion annually with the NFL for the rights to Monday Night Football, so the issues of “how much can we give” and “how much can we take away from you” sort of go hand in hand.

[h/t Shutdown Corner]