Quarterback Joe Flacco, running back Ray Rice and safety Ed Reed all showed up for their media sessions following Wednesday’s practice sporting “Buckle Up” T-shirts to show their support for the team and manager Buck Showalter.
“You see them guys at our games and the genuine support,” Rice told the Baltimore Sun one week after Showalter, center fielder Adam Jones and pitchers Jim Johnson and Tommy Hunter attended Baltimore’s soggy Thursday night win against the Browns. “So, it’s only great to return the favor, to support our home town. When you’re achieving greatness on your field, it’s great to have moral support from the both of us. It’s mutual respect. We’re all professional athletes.”
Genuine support. Mutual respect. Who doesn’t love a little display of solidarity and city pride?
The NFL, that’s who.
Two weeks ago the “No Fun League” threatened to fine San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith $15,000 for sporting a San Francisco Giants cap during his postgame press conference – the same hat Smith wore after every win since the middle of last season with no complaints.
Since it signed that massive new deal with Nike, the NFL is doing a lot of wardrobe policing before, during and after games. The league prohibits players and coaches to wear non-NFL-sponsored apparel of a competing league in the 90 minutes before or after a game.
So while Flacco and company are simply backing the O’s ahead of tonight’s key regular season finale, if they would be wise to keep their orange packed away before and after Sunday’s game in Kansas City.