The NFL will allow players to wear gloves and shoes paying tribute to 9/11 victims this weekend, so long as the apparel is supplied by its licensees.
The NFL takes its uniforms very seriously — it once threatened to fine Peyton Manning $25,000 for wearing high-top cleats in memory of Johnny Unitas — and a question arose when players were tweeting pictures of special gear for this weekend.
Lance Briggs of the Chicago Bears received a shipment from Reebok and tweeted: “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.”
Briggs wasn’t alone. Titans ququarterback Matt Hasselbeck tweeted pictures of red, white and blue shoes he plans to wear. So the NFL made its move, after previously approving a red, white and blue ribbon patch for jerseys. The Redskins, who open against the New York Giants at FedEx Field, will honor victims and their families. In addition, the NFL and NFL Players Association will contribute $1 million to three memorials and two charities related to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The ceremony at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, where the Dallas Cowboys will play the New York Jets on Sunday night, will feature Robert DeNiro.
In other sports, baseball teams will wear American flag patches on their caps, college teams are planning helmet sticker and midfield-logo tributes, and the U.S. rugby team will wear black armbands in its World Cup match Sunday.