NFL fines Wes Welker $10,000 for wearing unauthorized hat


Patriots receiver Wes Welker is not happy about a $10,000 fine he received for something he says he has no idea was against NFL rules: Wearing a hat without permission.

An NFL spokesman confirmed to the Boston Globe that Welker’s $10,000 fine came for wearing an “unauthorized hat during his postgame interview.”

On Twitter, Welker wrote that he’s been wearing a hat promoting Bonk Breaker energy bars, a company he invests in, all season long, and no one ever told him there was anything wrong with that.

“Got fined by the NFL for wearing a @Bonk_Breaker hat in an interview after the game,” Welker wrote. “Thanks for warning me the other 16 weeks I wore the hat.”

At least Welker found out about the rule during the regular season. As Brian Urlacher found out the hard way, fines for unauthorized hats jump to $100,000 at the Super Bowl.

86 responses to “NFL fines Wes Welker $10,000 for wearing unauthorized hat

  1. Let the players wear what they want on and off the field! Who cares if there are skittles on the shoes, as long as it’s not a distraction us fans really do not care!

  2. Duh. Players know what they can and cannot wear while doing team things. If fines are given out because your socks are the wrong color what did he think was going to happen, especially one promoting a company/business not affiliated with the NFL.

    That being said, I’m getting tired of hearing about all the fines. Its getting to be there are more articles on fines then on actual football (yes, I’m exaggerating, but you get my point).

    Why are the fines even made public? I would be pretty pissed if my employer told everyone I got written up/docked a paycheck.

  3. In related news: The NFL fined Mike Tomlin $10,000 for having his beard trimmed to neatly…sweet jesus this league is becoming insane.

  4. $10,000 is not enough for such a heinous crime. Does Welker have children? Not any more. They now belong to the NFL.

  5. $100k for wearing the wrong hat at the superbowl? And Harrison doesn’t get at LEAST that after all his warnings about possibly hurting other players?
    We’re not talking about sponsorships with Harrison, we’re talking about possibly ending careers or changing lives. And he’s been warned, multiple times which these guys were not. Pathetic.

  6. In applying discipline & fines, the NFL has made it crystal clear through the fine amounts & frequency that their emphasis is on policing uniform infractions and apparent “financial threats” rather than keeping the guys’ play in line.

  7. The players should refuse to start a game on time league wide to make a point at what a joke the league is becoming. what a turn off.

    fine fine fine fine fine fine fine etcccccccc.

  8. I cannot belive the hypocrasy of the NFL. They want players to be role models for young children, yet they throw fines out anytime a player doesn’t wear the approved apparel. What a great way to teach our youth greed and dictatorship because that is what these trivial fines are all about.

  9. “Who cares if there are skittles on the shoes, as long as it’s not a distraction us fans really do not care!”

    @pack4ever, this is driven by the corporate greed of the league and sponsors. They don’t want any company’s logo shown at anything having to do with the league that hasn’t paid huge advertising dollars to get it there.

    “I would like to see an audit of exactly where these fines go.”

    @jacunn2000, the fines go to charities that the league sponsors. What you think they’re going into Goddell’s pockets ?

  10. Great idea NFL. Pay them more and fine them more. It is all a wash. James Harrison is right about Roger Goodwill. This guy needs to go. Its like watching the WWE.

  11. thereisalwaysnextyear says:Dec 31, 2011 9:38 AM

    $100k for wearing the wrong hat at the superbowl? And Harrison doesn’t get at LEAST that after all his warnings about possibly hurting other players?
    We’re not talking about sponsorships with Harrison, we’re talking about possibly ending careers or changing lives. And he’s been warned, multiple times which these guys were not. Pathetic.
    What does this have to do with Welker bering fined for the wrong hat? Rodger Dodger is out of control.

  12. The money being thrown around in the NFL is offensive. The Rookie Salary Cap was a start but 10K for wearing a hat AFTER THE GAME? More money than late hits?

  13. Can we all agree to stop the unoriginal, unfunny, and beaten-to-death plays on peoples’ names?

    Unfunny, unoriginal example in this post: Roger God-all

    I agree that he’s a megalomaniac but at least come up with something better than that. This quality of humor is really below the expectations for the comment sections of PFT and we can do a lot better.


  14. I will play devils advocate here…companies pay big bucks into that revenue stream players are so fond of. That cash flow is what it is mostly because the NFL knows what it is doing in terms of selling and protecting a brand. This includes steroid hats and Christmas-colored ankle tape. Ultimately, NFL players need to just collect their fat paychecks and understand why they are so wealthy.

  15. This has gotten all out of hand.

    Does it REALLY make sense that a guy gets fined more for the hat he wears to a post-game press conference (after 14 weeks with no problem!) than a guy who seriously injures an opponent with a flagrant in-game personal foul?

    This could actually be the low moment of Roger Goodell’s tenure as Commissioner.

  16. I’m waiting for the NFL to review the previous interview tapes and retroactively fine Welker for each instance.

    Should have kept quiet, Wes.

  17. says:
    Dec 31, 2011 9:41 AM
    Where is DeMaurice Smith in all of this?!?! If I was a player I’d be banging down his door…

    No kidding on that one.!!!

    I understand on the field…but after a game they wear their own clothes shoes etc ..too.

    Wondering what would happen if Welker chose to go after NFL legally??? Last I heard, NFL doesn’t control clothing players wear off the field….Randy Moss anyone???

  18. Crazy NFL. Protecting the tv rights that pay for the whole dam thing and are the only reason that Welker is making the contract money that he makes.
    dumb dumb nfl.

  19. The NFL makes money selling advertising. Period. no free rides let Welker pay for his advertising like everyone else

  20. Haha just thinking of the players being called out on this thread that have not been caught yet. Imagining them reading it and yelling out a huge “Come on Bra!” under da bus! Haha

  21. mancave001 says:
    Dec 31, 2011 9:32 AM
    The NFL is out of control. Welker should refuse to pay the fine, as should a lot of these other players.

    I want my NFL back, Roger God-All.

    –I agree it’s out of control, but since the fines are taken out of player’s game checks, there’s not a whole lot they can do about it, until the next CBA.

  22. Hip tossing a player after the whistle with martial arts move = $7500. Wearing an illegal hat to a press conference = $10,000. Oh okay well at least that makes sense……now I totally understand the NFL fining process.

  23. Poor guy not only cant get his payday but now he has to pay the league for trying to make $ another way. It is crazy and I’d like to see that audit of the fine money too.

  24. Who cares!! It’s not your money. If I was getting paid what these players were being paid I would have no problem following the rules. Every company that you work for has a dress code. Why would the nfl be any different.

  25. seems obvious to me- The NFL is what puts food on your table not your energy bars…

    does Welker have a concussion?

  26. What i would like to see reported, is the year by year total fines for the last 10 years just to see how much the fines have gone up in Rodger’s era.

  27. Welker is about a good a guy as you’ll find in this league.

    I guess the NFL will find a way to fine everyone. I’m sure they are detailing Brady as we speak.

  28. you people complaining about the NFL on this are IDIOTS

    Use your work place to advertise a side job and you will more often than not find yourself out of a job

  29. Welder knew what he was doing. He wanted to get fined. Look at all the pub this is getting for his energy bar

  30. That’s strange, very strange. If he has indeed been wearing the hat for the 16 previous weeks, I would imagine he must have some kind of grounds for a lawsuit there. I mean, I can understand the whole NFL brand thing (not that I agree with it)…where they strictly control the things promoted underneath their umbrella, but if they (Goodell) slept for the first 16 weeks on this issue, then I don’t see how they can just start enforcing it now with a 10K fine. Seems stupid.

    Welker should definitely talk to a lawyer about that one.

  31. The NFL must protect its brand and players have a choice when it comes to these rules. They can obey them, ignore them and be fined, or choose to play in the IFL. If you owned such a valuable brand that cost you 500,ooo,ooo to purchases into would you want your employees giving away free advertisements.
    Finally, Welker can be as mad as he wants to be at the NFL, but the owners make up those rules, and he works for one of those owners. He should be mad at the Patriots, especially for not warning theyre employee about the rule.
    I suspect he had an inkling and chose to ignore it.

  32. Hey is an idea, why not fine refs when they make horrendous calls…as they have been doing all year long. If you do fine them, let the people know, so we can at least feel something is being done about it!

  33. The fine is a better advertisement than the hat. A lot more people know what the fine was for than saw the hat.

  34. The irony here that no one in the Commissioner’s office seems to be able to see is that thanks to THEIR actions, as of today Bonk Breaker is getting more attention than they ever would have if Goodell just let it slide

    If I’m a sponsor like Bonk Breaker I’m more than happy to compensate Welker for a helluva lot more than that fine

    Heck – one could make the case that the bigger the fine, the bigger the PR, the bigger the compensation for the player should be

    Goodell’s actions here stand to encourage, not discourage, these type of actions in the future

  35. In the NFL, trying to make a play on the ball or wearing the wrong hat is pretty much just as bad as starting a fist-fight and worse than getting arrested 4 times in the offseason.

    Oh, and let’s not forget what happens when you get *accused* of a crime. A conviction is nothing, but and accusation will get you suspended.

    The NFL is a soap-opera.

  36. It probably says in the contract they sign what they can wear and what they can’t. They sign their lives away for money and fame so they have to play by the nfl rules. It’s like a military person getting upset over being disciplined for being out of uniform.

  37. This is like trying to eat McDonalds in Burger King. It is not happening. If The other companies have to pay for advertisement, then what makes this company different?

  38. I can’t believe D-Smith took the million. He should be throwing in a, “Hey wait a minute, here” once in awhile, don’tya think once in awhile. Goodell must have read the biographies of all the great dictators. And he is a good student.

  39. Bonk Breakers should pick up the tab and make sure Wes wears it at the Super Bowl & pay the $100 K. Much cheaper than a 30 sec spot and will get more run for weeks. “Hey Wes, what are you going to do after the Super Bowl”? “I’m going to eat a Bonk Breakers Bar”

  40. While it does seem ridiculous, you have to understand the League’s point of view. I mean, if they let Welker and Lynch get away with it that means its okay for EVERY NFL player to wear cruddy hats with sports drink names and website addresses during news conferences, and wear cleats with pictures of candy on them.

    Who wants to see that? I know I don’t. Maybe if the players followed the rules they agreed to, you know when they signed contracts getting paid millions to play a game for a living, the League wouldnt have to levy these fines.

  41. This is the worst thing the NFL could do to a player. It is stupid and self-defeating for the League. Shame on you Roger……………..the tide will turn on you and you will soon be on the outside looking in. The worst Commissioner ever !!!!!!!

  42. I’m a huge Wes Welker fan, and don’t care for some of the other fines the league has been handing out, but you have to think about this in the context of the NFL being a business.

    The league makes a lot of money off sponsorships and advertising. If players, as part of official league business (such as a game, or post-game activity) wear stuff that gives other companies free advertising, it diminishes the value of legitimate sponsorship and advertising.

    You can say it has been over-commercialized, and I’d agree with you. But the players have no grounds to complain here: The multi-million dollar contracts they are so frequently willing to hold out for are made possibly largely due to this over commercialization.

  43. For the extra publicity this fine has generated for that brand, $10k isn’t maybe such a bad deal.

  44. It is not that hard…
    The networks pay 100s of millions of dollars to the NFL for broadcast rights.
    Advertisers pay billions of dollars to the league and the networks to advertise.
    During that broad cast the players cant cut side deals to advertise other things. Nor can the NFL BTW. It gets revenue shared.

    What is so hard about this? Advertising is the golden goose of the NFL, that revenue must be protected and not usurped by every player who feels that a couple a million a year is not enough to make due with.

    If welker wants to cash in, he will have to leave NE. Thats just the way it is.

  45. As silly as this rule is, I don’t find it surprising. Players walk on eggshells as it is. Wes should have thought about it first. He was endorsing his investment whether he intended to or not. Again, don’t get me wrong. I think it’s ridiculous but it’s the kind of world we live in.

  46. What the hell is this world coming to, the NFL is such a creepy controlling organization. It’s dictatorship, The Billionaire Owners obvious want to control everything and anything.

  47. LOL!!!! RE: The league is becoming like a homeowners association board. Your mailbox is painted the wrong shade of white.

    What a great comment! In that case, there is ZERO HOPE FOR THE FUTURE!! The Lawyers and the management companies and their lobbyist will NEVER allow change for the better!!

  48. I get the Lynch cleats thing, because that’s in the game. But addressing the media after the game when he’s putting on whatever he wants to wear to go home? Ridiculous.

  49. 8man says:

    Welker is about a good a guy as you’ll find in this league.

    I guess the NFL will find a way to fine everyone. I’m sure they are detailing Brady as we speak.


    They fined Brady a few years ago for not snapping his chin strap to his helmut before a play.

  50. Boo hoo. This isn’t some guy that just pulled a hat out of his closet and got fined because Goodell didn’t like the color. Welker himself said he’s been wearing it after every game. He’s been wearing it as a business strategy, and the NFL called him out on it. As someone else said, you don’t advertise McDonald’s inside of a Burger King. I’ll agree that the Saints’ fines for the Christmas tape were petty, but this is legit.

  51. jimboonie says:
    Dec 31, 2011 11:45 AM
    emmac13 says: “Its like watching the WWE”

    The NBA is like watching WWE, not the NFL.


    If I were the WWE I’d be offended at being compared to the NBA.

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