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League tells Griffin he can’t cover Nike logo

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The word of the day for Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is “cover.”

The good news is that he’s on the East Coast cover of Sports Illustrated.  The bad news is that Griffin will get a talking-to from the NFL about covering up the Nike logo on his warmup gear.

According to Darren Rovell of, Griffin wrote the word “heart” on his pre-game undershirt, with an “H” that blocked the Nike logo.  Griffin has an endorsement deal with adidas.

Rovell writes that Griffin likely won’t be fined because it happened before the game.  But the league plans to make its point to Griffin clearly and plainly.

“It won’t happen again,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told Rovell.

You can’t blame Griffin for trying.  The league already has changed the rules to allow him to apply a “III” on his name plate.  Why not push the envelope to see if they’ll let him get away with covering up the logo of the company that is paying the NFL plenty of money, but that isn’t paying Griffin a dime?

That said, it would have made more sense to find a thick piece of white tape and cover the logo that way.

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40 Responses to “League tells Griffin he can’t cover Nike logo”
  1. trollhammer20 says: Sep 12, 2012 9:39 AM

    By the way, I’d like to thank Nike for making their new line of women’s NFL gear very form-fitting. It was quite noticeable in the crowd in Phoenix this past weekend. Way to go!!!

  2. jgrange says: Sep 12, 2012 9:50 AM

    RGIII was able to change an NFL rule of adding a suffix to his last name? What a rebel!

  3. bigjdve says: Sep 12, 2012 9:50 AM

    You have to give him credit for how he did it. I am sure he will figure something else, maybe a jacket that covers it up.

    Should be interesting to see how it plays out.

  4. cags777 says: Sep 12, 2012 9:57 AM

    Happy they didn’t fine him. But it is getting beyond ridiculous that the NFL is finding ways to fine or punish players over things like this.

  5. marvsleezy says: Sep 12, 2012 10:00 AM

    “It won’t happen again,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told Rovell.

    Just keep doing and see how high the fines get – That cannot physically stop him.

  6. h3min1230 says: Sep 12, 2012 10:04 AM

    People sure do get on this guy a lot about his style. So what if he’s listening to music, so what if he covers up a logo during a warm up that no ones gonna see on TV.

  7. randyschwimmer7 says: Sep 12, 2012 10:06 AM

    He also covered the Nike logos on his cleats with black fabric. I wonder if that will change as well?

  8. tannethrill says: Sep 12, 2012 10:06 AM

    Got a bad feeling about this dude. Not a slow gradual ease into trouble but more like one bad decision that resonates.

    Obviously his play on the field suggests he’s very talented. Next for me is to see if he can get past prep on him with more and more game tape available each week.

    Wish the guy luck but some of the things I’ve heard him say and do suggest he’s growing a bit entitled. Not easy to deal with the kind of 12 month popularity turn this guy has seen. Hopefully the right people in his ears will make sure he stays humble.

  9. petehemlock says: Sep 12, 2012 10:09 AM

    Hopefully the ‘III’ on his nameplate will be close enough to an Adidas logo for him.

  10. titansbro says: Sep 12, 2012 10:17 AM

    Is he required to wear Nike warmup gear before the game? I mean, if so, then when does this rule take effect? 1 hour before kickoff? 3? When he gets to the stadium? When he leaves his house?

  11. jbl429 says: Sep 12, 2012 10:18 AM

    Didn’t the NFL fine Chad Johnson for putting a fake Ochocinco plate on his jersey pregame in Cincinnati a few years back?

  12. skins4life2009 says: Sep 12, 2012 10:19 AM

    Well he played with a lot of heart Sunday. Keep doing it Griffin, Adidas will pick up the fines for you haha.

  13. blacknole08 says: Sep 12, 2012 10:21 AM

    First he gets chastised for wearing headphones during warm-ups. Now he gets scolded for putting the word”heart” over a logo?

    It’s just warm-ups and not the actual game! Let the kid be himself.

  14. magicbucs says: Sep 12, 2012 10:22 AM

    it’s all about $… If I were him I’d tell the nfl that I don’t agree with the 6 yr old kids working in the Nike factory. Those uniforms were made by kids.

  15. harryglyphics says: Sep 12, 2012 10:24 AM

    tannethrill: We’re on the same page on this one. Jus’ wait–this one’s gonna be trouble. He’s not Randall Cunningham or McNabb. He’s going to land somewhere in between Vick’s dogfighting and JeMarcus Russell’s I’m so good I don’t need to have to work at it.

    Jus’ wait…

  16. noturavragepunk says: Sep 12, 2012 10:35 AM

    Wow not only does the h look terrible, but you can still see the Nike logo. Even if he has endorsements from adidas, why cover the logo. Adidas is smart enough to know he wouldn’t get away with this move.

    Where is voiceofreason telling,everyone about how this was the best thing a quarterback has ever done

  17. east96st says: Sep 12, 2012 10:35 AM

    “But it is getting beyond ridiculous that the NFL is finding ways to fine or punish players over things like this.”

    Do you not understand that the NFL has a contract with Nike that makes them legally obligated to enforce this? Nike paid a boatload of money to have their logo pasted all over every piece of clothing. A potential ROY candidate is causing the NFL to be in breach of contract by covering up said logo. If the NFL did NOT act, how long do think it would take Nike’s lawyers to be on the phone to NFL HQ? I understand the guy is supporting HIS sponsor, but the League has a contractual obligations. How do you think RGIII’s agent would react if Adidas didn’t send his check? Would his agent be “beyond ridiculous” for expecting Adidas to honor it’s contract to RGIII and demanding payment for services rendered? You may not like it, but the NFL is a business that has obligations to fulfill with it’s sponsors and partners.

  18. thraiderskin says: Sep 12, 2012 10:36 AM

    So the NFL allowed him to have his CORRECT name on his jersey, so that is one of the reasons he tried to cover up the swoosh? That statement wasn’t semi-inflammatory or antyhing.

  19. scalfor3 says: Sep 12, 2012 10:42 AM

    Bizarro MJ. Jordan famously covered the reebok logo on the Olympic warmups with the American flag at the podium in 92. It was also the NBA’s fines that created the publicity that helped his shoe line take off

  20. footballchic777 says: Sep 12, 2012 10:49 AM

    It is one thing to not want the uniform logo covered up, but beyond that…..get a life! I am so tired of the steel grip the NFL is applying to what can or can’t be on your headband, wristbands, etc? What’s next……NIKE BANDAIDS? A few years ago, Jon Kitna was fined for wearing a hat with a cross on it…….a fine which he paid and appealed because the rule was you could not wear a hat with an competitors logo. Good for him! Watch out Ace Bandages…..YOU COULD BE NEXT!

  21. bigblue00 says: Sep 12, 2012 10:50 AM

    Is anyone really surprised? After all this is the same league that would not allow Peyton Manning to wear black high tops after Unitas passed away.

  22. insanelomein2 says: Sep 12, 2012 10:50 AM

    The Subway Corporation is outraged that RGIII wasn’t eating a $5 footlong prior to kick off.

    They sponsor him too correct?

  23. electionconfidential says: Sep 12, 2012 11:05 AM

    So some people think this makes him a trouble-maker? Griffin is one of the most well-balanced kids to come into the league in a while. So what if he wants to make some money. The way the NFLPA sold out all future rookies was terrible. If I were him I’d cover it up too. At least he’s thinking. And playing good football too btw…

  24. wretchu says: Sep 12, 2012 11:29 AM


    What on earth are you talking about? Entitled? I’ll try to simplify it for you. The guy has an endorsement deal with adidas. By league rules, he has to wear Nike equipment, a direct competitor to the company that is paying him via that endorsement deal. However, wearing the Nike equipment can give the impression that he supports Nike over adidas. He wants to eliminate any possibility of people believing that his is a Nike guy and not an adidas one, therefor he wanted to cover up the Nike swooshes on his attire.

  25. gs7101 says: Sep 12, 2012 11:55 AM

    This is much ado about nothing — the NFL…. what a bunch of snobs! This isn’t the first time a player has covered up a logo from a company that he has a conflict of interest against; the average fan would not even notice the logo, anyway. You would never see Michael Jordan wearing Adidas gear when he played; one of Jordan’s sons refused to wear his college basketball team’s sponsored shoe, because they were not Nike. RGIII is one of the most well-grounded individuals who has entered the NFL in a long time. For those who expect him to be a topic in police blotters just don’t know him!!

  26. bjtmeyer says: Sep 12, 2012 11:56 AM

    If I was getting paid the kind of jack Griffin is getting paid, I would do whatever the NFL told me to do.

  27. mmack66 says: Sep 12, 2012 12:08 PM

    Pretty smart of Adidas to sponsor a guy that has a job that requires that he wears only the gear supplied by your competitor.

  28. CKL says: Sep 12, 2012 12:15 PM

    jbl429 says:
    Sep 12, 2012 10:18 AM
    Didn’t the NFL fine Chad Johnson for putting a fake Ochocinco plate on his jersey pregame in Cincinnati a few years back?
    Maybe. I know he got fined for some fancy shoes he wore in warmups though.

    I get that this is part of the contract and the NFL has to enforce it. I just think it’s a bit much to have negotiated contractual enforcement extend to warmups for anything and postgame attire on camera for anything that doesn’t display competitors’ logos

  29. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Sep 12, 2012 12:52 PM

    Good grief. Going to become like NASCAR drivers covered up with sponsors.

  30. latrobe21 says: Sep 12, 2012 1:05 PM

    I’m glad that I’ve never in my life purchased a piece of equipment, clothing or shoes because an athlete endorsed it.

  31. jevanderheyden says: Sep 12, 2012 1:22 PM

    Tough NFL! You can’t cover adds but you sure as hell can cover your name on the back of your jersey with your locks. Nothing against long hair, but it be able to hide a required part of an NFL uniform?

  32. houstonoilers says: Sep 12, 2012 1:53 PM

    Another guy trying to bring attention to himself. It’s the attention he’s looking for not the loyalty to his sponser, or did Adidas direct him to do it?

  33. defscottyb says: Sep 12, 2012 2:15 PM

    Those “collars” that Nike put on the jerseys looks corny… hey Nike, leave them alone. How come some teams don’t have the painted “collars” on theirs?

  34. gostlcards5 says: Sep 12, 2012 2:22 PM

    bjtmeyer says: Sep 12, 2012 11:56 AM

    If I was getting paid the kind of jack Griffin is getting paid, I would do whatever the NFL told me to do.

    You do realize, it is quite possible that RGIII is getting much more “jack” from Adidas than from his NFL salary. (I don’t know the numbers….just sayin’)

  35. voiceofreasonsays says: Sep 12, 2012 2:53 PM

    I’m so proud this guy is a Redskin. He’s only 22 and accomplishing so much but of course I knew it was coming because my football knowledge is pretty much always correct. I bet Jim Irsay is having a tantrum every he turns on his TV or reads PFT and watches Robert getting more and more good attention…and to think he didn’t even think RGIII was worthy of a tryout…what a buffoon!

  36. p01ntman says: Sep 12, 2012 2:57 PM

    Suggestion for you Mr. RGIII sir…… I think an ice(less) pack with a wrap would Help the shoulder.

  37. gmsalpha says: Sep 12, 2012 3:14 PM

    Nothing wrong with being loyal to your sponsor. Jordan did it. Mike Sheshefski did it.

    Some athletes (or coaches) have a deeper tie to a particular company, such as LeBron rejecting Reebok and going with Nike, even though Reebok offered more money. #Respect.

    With that said, RGIII is on TV promoting adidas often enough that nobody is going to think he’s not loyal.

    You see LeBron, Kobe, and Durant wearing adidas warmups and not complaining.

    You don’t hear Tom Brady (UA) or the Manning brothers (Reebok) complaining or boycotting their Nike duds.

    Just some folks have a deeper sense of loyalty and it’s not necessarily just about the money and the highest bidder.

    Whoever you support, have some conviction! I love it, no matter if you wear three stripes or the swoosh.

  38. realfann says: Sep 12, 2012 5:25 PM

    “That said, it would have made more sense to find a thick piece of white tape and cover the logo that way”

    Why would that have made any difference?

    signed, Nike corp

  39. nofunleague says: Sep 12, 2012 5:52 PM

    Just drape a towel over that shoulder. See if they complain about that

  40. smackmastergeneral says: Sep 14, 2012 5:27 PM

    Sheesh, I think it’s a reach to say this is signs of a trouble maker. He was trying to be loyal to a sponsor. Every single one of us would do the same thing.

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