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NFL fines Will Gay, DeAngelo Williams for honoring their late mothers

DeAngelo Williams wears pink for breast cancer awareness as he warms up Sunday. (Gene Puskar/AP)
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The NFL’s continues its aggression against personal forms of expression this week, with William Gay and DeAngelo Williams of the Pittsburgh Steelers drawing fines for honoring their late mothers.

Gay was fined $5,787 by the NFL for wearing purple cleats — just as he did last October — to bring attention to victims of domestic violence, the NFL Network’s Aditi Kinkhabwala reports. Williams was fined $5,787 for wearing a pink ribbon and having “We Will Find a Cure” on his eye black  — as he has for five seasons.

Gay’s mother was killed in an act of domestic violence and he appears in an NFL public service “no more” announcement, but he was at peace with the fine. “I broke the rule,” he told Kinkhabwala. His hope is that the NFL will donate the fine money to a domestic violence cause.

He also has asked the league to relax its rigid uniform regulations for one weekend a year to allow players to publicly advocate a case. That seems about as likely as playing a game on Mars in the near future.

Williams’s mother died of breast cancer in 2010 and initially he wanted to honor her by wearing pink throughout the season, a request the NFL denied because it occurred outside it’s officially sanctioned (and marketed) October observance of breast cancer awareness.

They’re the second and third Steelers players to be fined over their uniform violations this month. Cameron Heyward was fined twice for wearing “Iron Head” eye black to honor his late father, Craig “Iron Head” Heyward. After the second fine, he agreed to search for a different way to honor his father.

Last weekend, though, he wore “Tackle Cancer” eye black. It was officially sanctioned by the league.