Tennessee Titans linebacker Avery Williamson wanted to show respect for the victims and events of 9/11 by wearing patriotic cleats for his game against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. However, while the NFL has been condoning the disrespectful actions of Colin Kaepernick sitting out on the National Anthem, the football organization is taking grievance against Williamson’s apparel appreciating American lives lost.
The Nike branded cleats feature special red, white and blue patterned designs, as well as stars to flesh out the American flag-inspired footwear. The words “Never Forget” are printed on the heel.
However, league officials claim the cleats violate NFL rules, which state each player’s shoes must be either black or white. The only colors allowed to be shown are team colors serving as secondary pigments on the shoes. According the NFL rulebook, unapproved cleats are allowable only if “the player tapes over the entire shoe to conform to his team’s selected dominant base color.”
Williamson, wanting to avoid making his respectful demonstration a sideshow topic or political distraction from the game, has decided to not wear the shoes. Apparently if he chose to break the rules and wear the shoes, he would be facing a lengthy fine from the NFL, or possible suspension. “I want to wear them. Would love to represent and show respect to my country in them, but I also respect my affiliation,” Williamson said in an email to news outlets.
So instead, Williamson will be auctioning the shoes for charity. It’s a shame something like showing love and remembrance for a life-changing event is apparently more controversial and frowned upon by the NFL, rather than Kaepernick’s constant disavowing of the country that grants him freedom to earn million dollar paychecks every year.
— Avery Williamson (@AWilliamson54) September 9, 2016
— Avery Williamson (@AWilliamson54) September 8, 2016
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