Steelers defensive lineman Cameron Heyward has been fined this month for paying tribute to his late father Craig with words on the eye black he wears during games and one of his teammates joined him on the NFL’s disciplinary list this week for a similar offense.
Running back DeAngelo Williams had his request to wear pink in recognition of his mother’s battle with breast cancer rejected by the NFL earlier this year and Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL Media reports that he has now been fined $5,787 by the league for wearing “we will find a cure” and a pink breast cancer awareness ribbon on his eye black this month.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which the NFL recognizes by putting pink accents on gear worn by players and coaches for all 32 teams around the league. While Williams’s choice of eye black would seem to be in line with that effort, the league obviously felt Williams’s actions weren’t in line with league rules or the larger effort.
The NFL has been unbending in their opposition to any messages sent via uniforms that don’t come pre-approved by the league, so the only surprising part of Williams’s fine is that it comes during a month that the league uses as a way to show how much they care about the fight against breast cancer.