The NFL has a certifiable controversy on its hands, which means that it’s cracking down and working overtime to solve it.
A couple of quarterbacks have worn unapproved gear and the league isn’t going to stand for it. Resolving the lockout of game officials? That can wait. People are, again, wearing unapproved gear less than 90 minutes before and after a game.
Adidas pitchman Robert Griffin III wrote “Heart” on his Nike warmup shirt — hey, it’s not his fault if the heart just happens to lie under the Nike logo — before the Washington Redskins’ season opener and was gently warned by the NFL. Last week, he wore a logo-less shirt over the Nike garment and admitted Wednesday that a cover-up was underway.
“Nah ... it’s just ... ah…Yes. There’s no way around that one,” he said (via Comcast’s Tarik El Bashir).
The motives of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith were a little less financially motivated. He wore the cap of the San Francisco Giants, who are headed for postseason play, when he showed up for a postgame presser. The NFL threatened to fine him $15,000, but let him off with a warning...this time. (No word yet, what MLB might do to Giants Manager Bruce Bochy for this gesture of solidarity.)
“It's weird,” Smith said of the NFL’s rule. “I could wear a Polo shirt after the game and they're not going to fine me.”
You can understand where the NFL is coming from, given that it has a billion-dollar deal with Nike, but don’t you wish the league was that laser-focused on getting a deal with the replacement refs done?
Sally Jenkins: It’s time for the NFL, refs to settle for players’ sake