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Burleson, Wright fined for socks

Nate+Burleson+Chicago+Bears+v+Detroit+Lions+HbK__Al1aMQl Getty Images

Every October, the NFL loosens its obsessive-compulsive grip on the uniform rules, allowing players to accent their attire with pink.

In some cases, the pink becomes prevalent, from socks to cleats to gloves to mouthpieces to the “C” patch on the captain jerseys.  Though it’s done for the very good cause of breast cancer awareness (that said, there are many other very good causes that are excluded, such as a much-needed effort to cajole the sport’s doctor-averse middle-aged male fans to get their prostates and colons checked), it’s strange to see the league welcome the use, in non-uniform fashion, of a color that clashes with many teams’ schemes and otherwise undermines the traditional concept and meaning of a uniform.

But even as the league declares that it’s open season for the color pink, all other uniform rules remain in place, as Lions receiver Nate Burleson and cornerback Eric Wright are learning the hard way.

According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Burleson was fined $5,000 for not showing white in his socks on Monday night.  Wright was fined an undisclosed amount for wearing all black socks.

We fully support the breast cancer awareness efforts.  But we think the league should revisit the liberal and unrestrained use of pink, especially if the league otherwise is going to take money from players who stray from the chapter-and-verse requirements during a month in which the rule book regarding uniforms is dipped in a vat of Pepto Bismol.

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30 Responses to “Burleson, Wright fined for socks”
  1. kingmj4891 says: Oct 13, 2011 7:38 AM

    Really for socks???????????

    Biggest joke in the a League is Goodell…..

    I am praying for Goodell to resign or get fired for any reason.

    If the owners would just replace him with anybody else the NFL could be reaching full potential and I don’t mean Goodells plan for London.

    Goodell has made the NFL the National Foolish League!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. vikes49 says: Oct 13, 2011 7:38 AM

    They are called Uniforms for a reason. I am a firefighter and we are required to all wear issued uniforms! no exceptions. Part of the job. Maybe they should issue a list of items the players can wear during the month of october.

  3. scudbot says: Oct 13, 2011 7:53 AM

    What will the allowed/mandatory color be if the league decides it wants to help stamp out prostate cancer?

    Next year in November top hats and walking sticks will be mandatory while players are in public and game socks will have to look like the Union Jack.

  4. woodg8 says: Oct 13, 2011 7:54 AM

    Fire Goddell

  5. truthserum4u says: Oct 13, 2011 8:13 AM

    Did your friend Peter King give you this idea since he griped about this as well? You didn’t seem to have an issue with this before. Why should they revisit the use of pink during the month of October? You never give a reason, much less a good one.

    It’s really pretty simple for the players. You can substitute in the color pink but otherwise must follow the typical guidelines for uniforms. It’s not a free-for-all. It shouldn’t be confusing to anyone.

    By the way, how do they promote other good causes in the same fashion they promote breast cancer awareness? To my knowledge there isn’t a color associated to those causes.

  6. GG Eden says: Oct 13, 2011 8:16 AM

    The NFL fines are a joke. Goodell is a joke. It’s not good enough that everyone’s stuck with this. The owners need to get together and do something about it. Problem is they’re all corporates, marketing men, which is why the league is where it is right now in this situation having joke rules, fines etc. Need one of these corporates to conjure the spirit of Al Davis and make an effort to get the other owners on board. Even if just a bit to re-balance, because it’s way out of whack right now.

  7. cmstrick says: Oct 13, 2011 8:23 AM

    I hate seeing pink all over the field four weeks a year.

    That said, the league rules are the league rules and league employees (which the players are, no matter what they think) have to follow them or pay the consequences.

    On the flip side, if the league was really offended by Burleson’s socks they would have fined him more money. His maid probably finds more than that in his dryer every week.

  8. tatatoothy says: Oct 13, 2011 8:30 AM

    It should be cancer awareness month, not just breast cancer.

  9. thegonz13 says: Oct 13, 2011 8:39 AM

    This is just plain stupid.

  10. PFTbitesthehandthatfeeds says: Oct 13, 2011 9:12 AM

    So if was oink socks it would have been OK?……….right.
    Guess the NFL has found a way to generate revenue to pay all those off-season legal fees.

    Do the fines in October go directly to breast cancer research?

    NFL=National Farce League

  11. nortonfest says: Oct 13, 2011 9:15 AM

    scudbot says: Oct 13, 2011 7:53 AM

    What will the allowed/mandatory color be if the league decides it wants to help stamp out prostate cancer?

    ——————————

    I think we all know the answer to this question. They wear this color in Cleveland all season!

  12. isonic1 says: Oct 13, 2011 9:30 AM

    This is not new! The league has been fining players for uniform infractions for many years, including socks. Sean Taylor used to get fined pretty much every game for wearing something he shouldn’t have. If you let one player do it then another player will do it and another… Next thing you know they look like clowns and not football players!

  13. batyuki says: Oct 13, 2011 9:32 AM

    “it’s strange to see the league welcome the use, in non-uniform fashion, of a color that clashes with many teams’ schemes ”

    If they picked a color that fit with many team’s schemes, how would you make the difference between Breast Cancer Awareness month and the rest of the year…?

    Duh!

  14. threedeep1998 says: Oct 13, 2011 10:04 AM

    This happened to Antoine Winfield last year too. Wore his socks “too high” in a MNF game. What a shame NFL

  15. irishstout says: Oct 13, 2011 10:25 AM

    I hate to be the one bringing cynicism to the table (ok, no I don’t, I kind of love it) but has it occurred to anyone else that the NFL’s month of “Breast Cancer Awareness” may also give them the double benefit of a month of “Marketing to Women”?

    My wife (who God bless her is as big a football fan as I am and bought me an authentic jersey for Fathers Day) actually pointed this out to me. She knows more about the game than many of her friends do and one of the things that she’s noticed is other women buying a lot of pink themed NFL gear.

    Could the NFL perhaps be trying to expand its market not only to women like my wife, but to women who wouldn’t ordinarily pay attention to sports?

  16. sikoix says: Oct 13, 2011 11:07 AM

    Uniform fines are nothing new. Cris Carter used to get fined quite a bit for various uniform violations in the 90′s (things like failing to pull a sock back up, etc).

  17. fringetastic says: Oct 13, 2011 11:09 AM

    Come on, Mike, call it out all the way: The support for breast cancer research is a noble cause driven by marketing to make the NFL more friendly to women.

  18. alaricsrevenge says: Oct 13, 2011 11:32 AM

    (that said, there are many other very good causes that are excluded, such as a much-needed effort to cajole the sport’s doctor-averse middle-aged male fans to get their prostates and colons checked)

    —–

    Isn’t that what the Cleveland Browns Uniform is for?

  19. alaricsrevenge says: Oct 13, 2011 11:35 AM

    They should have players wear multi-colored puzzle piece helmets for Autisim awareness.

  20. liquidalfa says: Oct 13, 2011 11:40 AM

    A month is too long. Just let them do it for a week.

  21. The Phantom Stranger says: Oct 13, 2011 11:42 AM

    irishstout says:
    Oct 13, 2011 10:25 AM
    I hate to be the one bringing cynicism to the table (ok, no I don’t, I kind of love it) but has it occurred to anyone else that the NFL’s month of “Breast Cancer Awareness” may also give them the double benefit of a month of “Marketing to Women”?

    My wife (who God bless her is as big a football fan as I am and bought me an authentic jersey for Fathers Day) actually pointed this out to me. She knows more about the game than many of her friends do and one of the things that she’s noticed is other women buying a lot of pink themed NFL gear.

    Could the NFL perhaps be trying to expand its market not only to women like my wife, but to women who wouldn’t ordinarily pay attention to sports?
    ____________

    Absolutely. This is nothing more than a marketing gimmick. Is there anyone out there who isn’t aware of breast cancer?

  22. stiffarm37 says: Oct 13, 2011 12:06 PM

    I noticed Sunday the refs even had pink whistles, and I’m sure they were required to use them. I think it’s going a little too far, but it’s not a big issue. Just looks a little silly at some point.

  23. steelersmichele says: Oct 13, 2011 12:18 PM

    irishstout says: has it occurred to anyone else that the NFL’s month of “Breast Cancer Awareness” may also give them the double benefit of a month of “Marketing to Women”?
    Could the NFL perhaps be trying to expand its market…to women who wouldn’t ordinarily pay attention to sports?

    As a woman who is die-hard and watches all the games I can, Pink October annoys me. It’s not to bring more women into the fold, but rather to make money. If the league really cared about women, they would have more women working in the league.

    It’s a man’s sport–owned, ran, officiated, analyzed, and played by men. And that’s fine because I’ve accepted it. But for a month out of the year, I hate the fact that the league tries to pretend it’s something else. They are basically saying to me: “We don’t want you to have any say in football, but please buy this pretty pink shirt.”

  24. irishstout says: Oct 13, 2011 1:01 PM

    It’s a man’s sport–owned, ran, officiated, analyzed, and played by men. And that’s fine because I’ve accepted it. But for a month out of the year, I hate the fact that the league tries to pretend it’s something else. They are basically saying to me: “We don’t want you to have any say in football, but please buy this pretty pink shirt.”

    _____________________________

    That’s more or less what my wife said. Its almost condescending, like a little “pat-on-the-head” gesture because, after all, women can’t possibly appreciate football on its own merits, right?

    Clearly, the NFL marketing department is filled with guys who have never had beer spilled on them by female family members who are jumping up and down cheering a big play, or had those same family members swear fluently at the tv because of a blown call.

  25. capslockkey says: Oct 13, 2011 1:21 PM

    Have to agree about the other cancers getting pushed to the side as far as awareness. I know of three people who’ve had breast cancer and all survived the ordeal. On the other hand I know two people who died from colon cancer and another one from ovarian cancer.

    I think America is more than well aware of Breast Cancer at this point. How about getting out the message about these other unsung ones that at least in my personal experience have proven to be more fatal.

  26. steelersmichele says: Oct 13, 2011 1:41 PM

    irishstout says: Clearly, the NFL marketing department is filled with guys who have never had beer spilled on them by female family members who are jumping up and down cheering a big play, or had those same family members swear fluently at the tv because of a blown call.

    So, you’ve seen me watch games :)

    The sad thing is that come November, the players will get fined for wearing something pink during a game–as if breast cancer is only important in October.

  27. jimmylions says: Oct 13, 2011 9:03 PM

    I thought they were supposed to do an audit before you fine players for SOX violations?

    (business nerd humor – thank you, thank you)

  28. savannahrose44 says: Oct 13, 2011 10:19 PM

    If you are male and do not support breast cancer awareness month (boobies)…you must be gay.

    I’m not sure why they would fine Nate Burleson for “not showing” white socks when they have blue leggings that cover almost everything anyway. Those white socks could be hidden, and often are hidden by the use of tape on the feet and ankle. Stupid thing to fine over IMO.

  29. savannahrose44 says: Oct 13, 2011 10:23 PM

    capslockkey says:
    Oct 13, 2011 1:21 PM
    Have to agree about the other cancers getting pushed to the side as far as awareness. I know of three people who’ve had breast cancer and all survived the ordeal. On the other hand I know two people who died from colon cancer and another one from ovarian cancer.

    I think America is more than well aware of Breast Cancer at this point. How about getting out the message about these other unsung ones that at least in my personal experience have proven to be more fatal.

    Brest cancer is easily detectable through a self breast exam…other forms of cancer take diagnostic tests and exams that cannot be performed at home but require a doctor’s expertise. The point of breast cancer awareness month is to educate the public regarding the fact that they have the power to catch and prevent their own deaths or serious illness. Not that I think it is less important to be aware of other cancers, but other cancers are not so easily detected.

  30. thebirn says: Oct 14, 2011 12:56 AM

    As a recent Stage 3 colorectal cancer patient (in remission after surgery, chemo & radiation) I’d like to thank Mike for the brief mention. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the US behind lung cancer. It’s also one of the most treatable cancers if discovered early. But people don’t like the topic or the thought of getting a colonoscopy, which is such a non-issue. While it has largely been known as a cancer that affects men & women over 50, the numbers of younger diagnoses is growing and there are plenty of people as young as late teens and 20s. Check out fightcolorectalcancer.org or ccalliance.org. And if Mike or his assistants read this, I’d be happy to help promote this if he’s got a relevant NFL (or other pro sport) contact.

    And by the way, our color is blue, we’ve got a blue star instead of a ribbon (www.thenewbluestar.org), and March is currently CRC Awareness month.

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