The NFL have fined two Pittsburgh Steelers' players due to what they are calling a violation of the dress code. Quite obviously they must have worn something absolutely obscene or controversial, right? That was not the case with DeAngelo Williams and William Gay.
Running Back, Williams, received a fine for $5,787 for wearing custom eye black. Written on it were the words "Find the Cure" in support of Breast Cancer awareness. It's October after all. Williams told ESPN that it is not the first time he has worn the custom Eye black. He lost his mother to breast cancer and recently requested permission to wear pink accessories with his uniform but the league turned him down.
Cornerback, Gay, was fined the same amount for wearing purple cleats in support of domestic violence awareness. Gay lost his mother at 7-years old when his stepfather shot her. He has been a public supporter and currently has a public service announcement on the matter.
Neither supporting breast cancer or domestic violence awareness seems like terrible offenses. Both were supporting causes that were deeply personal and as such important to them. Shouldn't be a big deal, right? Unfortunately, the NFL has other ideas of what was a violation.
This isn't the first time that this has happened. In 2013, Brandon Marshall was fined $10,500 for wearing green cleats to promote Mental Health Awareness week. Marshall responded by matching the fine in donations to a charity involved with mental health associated with breast cancer diagnosis.
It's bizarre to think that the NFL would continue to fine players trying to use the game as a platform to raise awareness on important issues. A league where we have guys like Adrian Peterson taking the field. It's a double standard, and full of hypocrisy. And I do not mean to single out AP, but it seems a repeated story in the NFL.
(In Photo: Greg Hardy)
(In Photo: Greg Hardy)
The NFL is full of players that have beaten their wives, or done much worse. Greg Hardy, Ben Roesthlisberger, Ray Lewis, Michael Vick... the list is long. Players that have been accused or connected to rapes, murders, or domestic violence or other acts of violence. I fail to see how supporting a cause like breast cancer or domestic violence could possibly register on the radar after some of those names.
It's ridiculous. The NFL should be exactly the platform for these causes. The reach is far and wide, and considering a lot of recent incidents involving NFL players, these things need to be addressed. Yea, I get it. They were against policy. But when you have policies that protect and even allow players that have committed all manner of violent acts against someone to play, but you penalize someone that is genuinely trying to raise awareness for causes like breast cancer, domestic violence, or mental health, your priorities are incredibly skewed, and those policies need to be reevaluated.