Skip to content

NFL planning to let players promote causes with cleats — for one week

Seattle Seahawks v Carolina Panthers Getty Images

The NFL is going to let players speak their minds with their feet.

But being the NFL, it’s going to be in a tightly scheduled and pre-approved way, of course.

According to Jonathan Jones of Sports Illustrated, the league is preparing to set aside a one-week window (Week 13) for players to promote a charitable cause of their choice on their cleats and equipment.

That’s a significant step, since the league has always treated its uniforms as sacrosanct.

Naturally, the league wants to make sure the causes advertised on their precious marketing real estate are legitimate, and the players have to auction off the cleats following the game and donate the entire proceedings to the charity.

The league didn’t comment on the report, and has always been willing to fine players for any uniform violations, including attempted patriotic tributes (Like Titans linebacker Avery Williamson’s 9/11 shoes) or charitable causes (such as Brandon Marshall’s green cleats to raise awareness for mental health).

Even extensions of their own causes have drawn fines, including DeAngelo Williams getting fined for writing “Find the Cure” on his eye black, when he was one of the players credited with the league’s breast cancer awareness campaign — which they have co-opted and marketed themselves.

While the league’s allowing one scripted moment of free expression might seem like a step, there’s still the matter of application, as we wait to see which causes are deemed worthy and which are not.

Permalink 41 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers, Rumor Mill, Tennessee Titans, Top Stories
41 Responses to “NFL planning to let players promote causes with cleats — for one week”
  1. cebert44 says: Sep 13, 2016 5:59 AM

    Feeling heat God all More statements by the

    players. Hope someone posts the sponserships

    these so called protesters have.So I can start

    bombarding the board to get rid of them

    (MARSHALL}.

  2. derekleblanc says: Sep 13, 2016 6:45 AM

    Donate all the proceeds to charity when you auction off the cleats. Why I am fine with that bu wasn’t there a story a couple of years ago where it was said the NFL kept like 70% of the profits for the breast cancer awareness campaign

  3. spilli says: Sep 13, 2016 7:21 AM

    Oh good, a week 13 fashion show. Sigh

  4. sorosbolshevism says: Sep 13, 2016 7:32 AM

    Protest on your own time please!

  5. rhamrhoddy says: Sep 13, 2016 7:42 AM

    Such bullies. The fans punch the league in the mouth upon hearing that a player who wanted to commemorate 9/11 was informed that he would be fined by doing so. So they roll over and say “fine I guess you can do that. BUT you have to do it exactly THIS way. WE are in charge here but we’re also super sweet guys”.
    This was a great example of the NFL office reacting to an upset fanbase.
    Side note: I hope the NFLPA takes every opportunity in future legal matters to get Goodell on the stand. This whole “Questions are fine but NO follow up questions policy” during interviews is clearly another transparent way of him saying “I will promote MY message and agenda in your little interview but you in NO way have the right to seek clarification when I dodge very straightforward questions that I don’t like. Those are the terms if you want an interview with the great and powerful Ginger Roger”.

    What a clown

  6. bears53 says: Sep 13, 2016 7:52 AM

    Oh goody!

  7. craignflfan says: Sep 13, 2016 8:03 AM

    As long as it doesn’t bring attention to domestic violence. Because Goodell has proven over and over again that he doesn’t care about that.

  8. hillarystandswhenshepees says: Sep 13, 2016 8:09 AM

    Will Kap wear shoes shaped like pigs?

  9. pourman says: Sep 13, 2016 8:11 AM

    Being the NFL there must be some way they’re making money from this.

  10. chargers308 says: Sep 13, 2016 8:31 AM

    The NFL always turns peoples idras or causes down then turns around and uses them and says it was their idea

  11. bmacwillconn says: Sep 13, 2016 8:37 AM

    This is the NFL’s dumbest idea of all time.

    This will turn into nothing more than a Black Lives Matters, Anti Cop, Anti America, Pro Transgender, Occupy Wall Street, Anti Capitalism, Social Justice mess, all under the guise of “charitable causes.”

    Can we just play football instead of allowing every public gathering in this country to be turned into a left wing, anti American demonstration?

  12. bostoncommon says: Sep 13, 2016 8:45 AM

    These guys aren’t employees, they’re indentured servants, no matter how much money they make. I’d love to see a wholesale revolt against Rog–go way beyond cleats. Let the teams switch helmets, play with the same number, different colored shoes for everybody…this guy is such a frigging jerk.

  13. jag1959 says: Sep 13, 2016 9:03 AM

    “… there’s still the matter of application, as we wait to see which causes are deemed worthy and which are not.”

    You know, does it fit the agenda, can they make a buck off of it by co-opting it down the road…$uitable. I would be more interested to know what causes do not measure up to the leagues ‘$tandard$’ and why…’cause integruty

  14. jimmyjohns01 says: Sep 13, 2016 9:06 AM

    lol @ NFL. They know they’re losing the fight so now they’re playing the “since we’re nice, we’ll let you..” card.

  15. davefromtheburgh says: Sep 13, 2016 9:13 AM

    They shouldn’t even allow it for a week.

  16. pftthoughtpolicemostwanted says: Sep 13, 2016 9:18 AM

    The NFL opened up a can of worms with this one. I wonder how many pig cleats we’ll see. This is what happens when you negotiate with terrorists.

    The NFL needs me more than I need it. Their failure to nip this anti-America garbage in the bud caused this fan to only watch the home team this week for the first time in his life. I am not watching a second of any other football, and that includes the playoffs and Superbowl. I’m just not ready to quite the Browns yet (which says a lot about my resiliency over the years…)

    If you want to worship a bunch of wealthy racist prima donnas be my guest but I’ve got better things to do with my time.

  17. outlaw53 says: Sep 13, 2016 9:28 AM

    The NFL is certainly skewed when it comes to what they will allow players to do…or not. Kaepernick wears anti-police socks in plain view and gets…nothing by way of fine or reprimand. The Dallas Cowboys attempt to wear a helmet sticker in support of the policemen killed by that BLM murderer…and are told unequivocally no way! C’mon Goodell, get your act together. These anti-American protests are generating discord across the nation…and the NFL does nothing about it…not even addressing the situation internally. Make up your mind Roger….defend the “shield”…or simply resign.

  18. ducknichols50 says: Sep 13, 2016 9:29 AM

    Good. Im taking a knee until the LA Rams stop treating Jared Goff like a 2nd class citizen. They dont even let him dress. Free Jared Goff and stop this injustice

  19. jerseygirl57 says: Sep 13, 2016 9:36 AM

    So we can honor the victims of 9/11 in November? Ok, then. Will this also include telling all those sitting/kneeling/showing the Black Panther power salute that they have to wait to November also?

  20. carpalboss says: Sep 13, 2016 9:43 AM

    because when I’m watching a game, I always look at the player’s cleats.

  21. 1heatedtoombrayduh says: Sep 13, 2016 9:46 AM

    Anti America? where show me..ppl are jokes man.

    Go raiders

  22. indytom87 says: Sep 13, 2016 9:49 AM

    Ironically, when there are close to 1700 players bringing “awareness” to their cause at the same time – there won’t be any awareness.

  23. lonespeed says: Sep 13, 2016 9:49 AM

    Can we get rid of all the pink in October? It’s gotten out of hand. Do a big cancer drive. Run a bunch of promotions. Bring attention how you will, but please, lose the pink for the entire month. Maybe for a week, but come’on, it’s too much of a publicity shill and not really benefiting cancer research near as everyone pretends.

  24. goodguyattorney says: Sep 13, 2016 9:52 AM

    Don’t do as I do, do as I say – so says the league making millions off pink and camo jerseys. The hypocrisy is pathetic coming from Roger’s mouth.

  25. bstngrdn says: Sep 13, 2016 9:55 AM

    What rubbish! The NFL has now opened the door to any number of potential dilemmas for themselves about who is or is not worthy to have a display on player’s cleats. But the cynic in me says the choice of week 13 to do it is just the latest attempt by the NFL to get more media attention at a time when many teams will have become irrelevant.

  26. lenthevikesfan says: Sep 13, 2016 9:56 AM

    So for that week I will assume I’ll be made aware of 1696 issues at one time. Am i supposed to donate to all of them? The NFL is hoping the players all drowned each other out…

  27. pftthoughtpolicemostwanted says: Sep 13, 2016 9:58 AM

    These racist, anti-american players are the real #basketofdeplorables in this country.

  28. peytonwantsaflag says: Sep 13, 2016 10:21 AM

    what about the teams that are on a bye that week? Can they wear cleats on a different week or are they out in the cold? I guess they’ll have to wear cleats week 14 protesting the fact they couldn’t wear their special cleats week 13.

    man, what a can of worms.

  29. imodan says: Sep 13, 2016 10:28 AM

    “C’mon Goodell, get your act together. These anti-American protests are generating discord across the nation…and the NFL does nothing about it…not even addressing the situation internally. Make up your mind Roger….defend the “shield”…or simply resign.”
    ————————————————————–
    What’s more American than the right to protest? That right is what makes America truly free. “Generating discord” could also be read as “They are forcing us to look in the mirror and seeing the warts that we refuse to accept exist” All these players have done is sit, kneel or raise a fist. All nonviolent protests. The “discord” continues because some have certainly made a mountain out of a mole hill, the press being the biggest offender. Let these players do what they have every right to do. They absolutely are getting the results they desired. We are having a discussion about an issue that certainly is clear as black and white. The only problem is the issue is perceived differently by some solely on the color of their own skin.

  30. abqhawk says: Sep 13, 2016 10:48 AM

    I have purchased my last piece of NFL related gear, too expensive anyway. The NFL has moved from sports to politics and I get enough of that crap already everywhere else. ENOUGH already!!!

  31. peytonwantsaflag says: Sep 13, 2016 11:06 AM

    “They absolutely are getting the results they desired. We are having a discussion about an issue…”

    ——————————

    I agree with you only if the results they desired is a conversation about whether or not they should stand for the anthem or not. That’s all we’re discussing- this has not raised any sort of awareness about anything other than what is an appropriate protest or not. This is no different than the occupy movement a couple years ago, a bunch of people with a vague sense of unhappiness and not really sure what to do with it.

  32. granadafan says: Sep 13, 2016 11:29 AM

    I’m starting a non-profit called “Roger must Go!” Players are welcome to bring attention to this worthy cause.

  33. veddermn8 says: Sep 13, 2016 11:34 AM

    Would “CTE research for ex-players” be an approved charitable cause?

  34. rcali says: Sep 13, 2016 12:24 PM

    Let this be a lesson to all you future business leaders, when you don’t address something from the beginning….like protests at work, you open up a can of worms where nothing you do will be right. NFL continues to fumble the ball time and time again.

  35. bkostela says: Sep 13, 2016 12:34 PM

    derekleblanc says:
    Sep 13, 2016 6:45 AM
    Donate all the proceeds to charity when you auction off the cleats. Why I am fine with that but wasn’t there a story a couple of years ago where it was said the NFL kept like 70% of the profits for the breast cancer awareness campaign
    ________________

    So if the campaign raises $100 million, the NFL is still donating $30 million to the Breast Cancer Foundation. I’m not understanding how this is a bad thing.

  36. ilovefoolsball says: Sep 13, 2016 12:49 PM

    It’s so good that the NFL is giving voice to the oppressed millionaires of this country.

  37. cmosiedrum says: Sep 13, 2016 12:57 PM

    Too little, too late NFL.
    No more of my $$$ will be spent on anything NFL related.
    I’M DONE.

  38. rhamrhoddy says: Sep 13, 2016 1:25 PM

    So if the campaign raises $100 million, the NFL is still donating $30 million to the Breast Cancer Foundation. I’m not understanding how this is a bad thing.
    ___________
    I think a lot of people feel the league should not profit from it. Recoup their costs and donate the rest. These 32 guys are multi-billionaires. Should they each be granted an additional $2M for bringing awareness to cancer?

  39. dickroy says: Sep 13, 2016 1:51 PM

    Everything the NFL does is a way to collect more of your money through sales. Like official side line caps every year, throw back jerseys, and color rush jerseys.

  40. Deb says: Sep 13, 2016 1:54 PM

    What’s more American than the right to protest? That right is what makes America truly free.

    ———————
    Absolutely. But I don’t do my protesting in the workplace. Football is a stress release in a divided world. It’s a place where people come together, not to fight over the world’s issues, but as fans just to enjoy the game. No one has the right to tell another person what to believe. But employers do have the right to demand a certain level of decorum on the job. Goodell does nothing but demand decorum … except when it comes to something that’s distracting from the game and dividing the nation. Arguing about protocol for the anthem is not moving America one step closer to equal justice.

  41. dickroy says: Sep 13, 2016 2:56 PM

    Hey Deb, good to hear from you. Our Steelers looked good last night.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!