No Fun League
At the same time Hopkins was showcasing his Yeezy cleats, the NFL did allowed six other players to wear multi-colored patriotic cleats honoring 9/11 sans fine. So, it’s OK for six players to go against uniforms standards if they are honoring a public tragedy during the same week that the league does, but try and reveal a little personality and the league comes down with a hammer … and a their hands out.
Of course this isn’t a big revelation. The NFL has long been known to be super strict when it comes to what they consider uniform violations. According to the NFL, last season, DeAngelo Williams was fined for wearing eye black with a little pink ribbon in it and the phrase, “we will find a cure” for the well-known Breast Cancer awareness cause. Behind his face mask and probably less than 2×2 inches.
Evidently Williams didn’t wear this pink breast cancer awareness logo during the approved NFL breast cancer awareness week-long campaign. Also last season another Steelers player, cornerback William Gay, was fined for wearing purple cleats to show awareness for a cause close to him, domestic violence. Gay’s purple cleats were actually cleats that had been approved for NFL uniforms—except they were approved for the Vikings uniform not the Steelers uniform.
The 2016 NFL Rulebook dedicates more than 400 words solely to provide its standard for the NFL uniform shoe. The rulebook states, “All players on the same team must wear shoes with the same dominant base color.” Then why were the six players who violated this rule spared the fine? Why does the NFL have a double standard when it comes to this particular incident?
If the NFL doesn’t act on these patriotic violations and fine the players involved, then all future violations must not be fined because the league has shown that their rulebook standards are completely arbitrary and subjective. If the NFL shows that their rules are arbitrary and subjective then they also show that their targeting of certain players is completely biased, unfair and based on prejudices league officials harbor. Bad juju.
But all my brilliant arguing is in vain because weak lawyers for the NFL Players Association agreed to bend over and take whatever the NFL shoved in them … er, I mean at them. The NFL has become a super powerful, entertainment behemoth that controls nearly every aspect of every contract negotiation they take on on every front of any battle they choose to undertake.
Little boys grow up dreaming of being an NFL player. Businesses all over the US dream of airing a commercial during the league’s biggest game. And, I have noticed that companies are airing their best commercial campaigns with their most creative advertisements during any and all games during the entire season. They don’t have to wait until February to get the best exposure any more.
The NFL is a dominant force. The NFL is in complete control. Cross them and they will make you pay a fine, too. I better be careful. I do so love the NFL.