The NFL Uniform Rules Are Silly
The NFL Uniform Rules Are Silly | Sports Takes & News | TooAthletic.com
The NFL didn’t waste anytime collecting fine money in 2021 since a week after tying a league record with six rushing touchdowns, running back Alvin Kamara was sent a $5,000 bill because he, wait for it, wore red and green shoes. Did we mention the game was played on Christmas Day, and were sent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame to mark his achievement? So, please tell us NFL, how uniform do you want player uniforms to be, because the rules seem to change week to week depending upon what you are selling and promoting.
Alvin Kamara knew before he took the field on Christmas Day against the Minnesota Vikings that his holiday-colored cleats (one red, the other green) would draw a fine from the NFL, and on a New Year’s Day news dump, the league informed the Saints running back how much that fine would be. Of course, it was the NFL who scheduled a Christmas Day game this year despite the holiday falling on Friday; allowing the league to make more money and more fans to see Kamara’s six touchdown performance, and then dropped a fine on him a week later.
No one is more annoying when it comes to uniform rules than the NFL. That’s because on one hand they enforce their rules as if they are a military operation, unless, of course, they are trying to pander to fans by supporting a cause, then it is OK to wear pink wrist bands or use pink towels. Otherwise, if you don’t pass inspection, you can expect to pay a fine, which Kamara plans to match by donating the same amount of his fine to a charity.
While it drives me crazy that NBA and MLB teams are using an increasingly annoying number of alternate jerseys, especially for holiday games like Christmas Day, at least fans know about it in advance and the league allows players to don their own footwear during the season, something only those who care notice, and people like me don’t give a damn about. For the NFL to schedule a game on Christmas Day and not allow players to wear something in the spirit of the holiday is just clueless on their part and something they should be ashamed of. Not only should a waver be granted for any player who wanted to change things up on Christmas, but the league should have been encouraging and promoting the idea all week long rather than fining a player over a pair of cleats a week later. Once again, the league fumbled this one, and sadly, no one is surprised.
Among the many things the NFL Players’ Association should ask the league for is a one-week uniform exemption for each player to break the uniform dress code to promote something for themselves and/or for a charity of their choosing. This request, hopefully, will remind the NFL that there are real people in their uniforms, and not robots that all look, sound, and act the same. If they want to set down some reasonable rules, I am sure some minor details can be worked out, but as the NFL embraces more and more sponsors they ignored in the past (i.e., casinos and gambling websites) there are probably not too many companies left the league doesn’t already do business with. So, unless it involves something pornographic or is a competitor of a contracted league sponsor, everything should be on the table for players to use their one-game fun pass to promote.
It’s 2021 NFL, come out of the black and white era and let your players have fun at least one game a year with their uniforms. They are giving the league’s sponsors enough publicity every game of every season, at least give them a chance to do something for themselves. It doesn’t need to be a political action committee or anything controversial and wouldn’t be any better or worse than the dozens of promos we hear on every broadcast from networks or from the league itself. Lighten up and give players one game a year, especially if you are going to make them play on Christmas Day or another holiday when they have the fans attention and they can make a few extra dollars.
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