DeAngelo Williams fined for breast cancer message on eye black

Getty Images

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.

43 responses to “DeAngelo Williams fined for breast cancer message on eye black

  1. Good. Respect the shield. You get played millions to play ball and respect the game. What the NFL should do in turn is donate the fine money to a breast cancer awarness charity. These players need to RESPECT like Tom Brady has too. Noone is above the NFL.

  2. The NFL continues to slit its own throat. I’m not sure which one of Goodell’s cronies made this horrendous decision but the who league office needs to get flushed down the toilet. Right now its just a bunch of turds floating on the surface

  3. Doesn’t this just show the deception of the NFL?
    The money from the fine goes to the NFL owners. The money from the sales & promotion of the pink nfl gear goes to the NFL owners (or most of it, 90+%).
    So the ones who actually lose out is the players and the charity. Keep up the great work Roger!

  4. These “uniform violations” are stupid. Especially when the “violation” is promoting a good cause.

  5. Good for the NFL. I could see this quickly spiral out of control if they don’t stop it right now. The fine will bring extra attention to DeAngelo’s cause, and I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if the NFL donates the money to the fight against breast cancer. The NFL has already done an enormous amount of good in the fight against breast cancer, and they continue to do more. If the NFL allows this stuff, sponsors will be lining up to make the NFL uniforms look like NASCAR cars. The fame and notoriety that these players receive courtesy of the NFL, should give them a good platform to promote good causes Monday through Saturday.

  6. Things like this make me sick about the NFL. But my money is where my mouth is, I cant see myself ever not watching football on Sundays. I guess its guys like me that keep these horrible, greedy men in power.

  7. NFL kind of sends a mixed signal.. support breast cancer, fine someone supporting breast cancer outside of the NFL’s guidelines.

    If anything they should donate the fine to breast cancer.

  8. The league does not want players wearing/displaying personalized messages. The reason is the league doesn’t think it can make money off of these things. Breast Cancer awareness month in the NFL, like many other organizations, is a sham to push more product.

  9. The NFL is a complete joke. They will only allow players to wear gear that the NFL can sell and donate a portion of the proceeds to breast cancer. Williams paid for 53 women in the Pittsburgh area to have mammograms out of his own pocket.

  10. This is what happens when we nitpick over technicalities with a punitive mindset instead of relaxing and trying to gain perspective.

  11. Fine people for supporting breast cancer awareness, make excuses for referees making blatant mistakes. Roger Goodell is the worst commissioner in the history of pro sports

  12. Players know the guidelines but make a choice to ignore them for their own reasons. NFL is not at fault. At a certain point, without regulating this, there will be all sorts of messages worn by players…and some of them won’t be civic minded.

  13. the NFL doesn’t care about raising breast cancer awareness…. they care about the money they raise by raising breast cancer awareness…

  14. PLEASE can a player honor a fallen soldier the same way during the NFLs “support the troops” month… would they fine that player too!?!?

  15. Tonebone is right on the money. Keep the uniform clean, keep a lid on this stuff if you don’t want to end up looking like nascar. These guys have myriad ways to express support and awareness, the uniforms are not the place for it.

  16. This has gone beyond ridiculous. It isn’t like someone wanted to wear a sign on their back that was obviously visible. The guy wrote words on his eye black which arguably
    isn’t even part of the uniform. It seems like an unobtrusive way for the player to honor someone without becoming a spectacle.
    Then there’s the hypocricy of it. Teams wear patches showing the initials of owners or there families all the time, or helmet decals for the same reason.

  17. I am starting to hope that the whole roster shows up with uniform violations for one charity or another.

    Where’s James Harrison to remind everyone that the Steelers were the only team to vote down the CBA?

  18. quite the dilemma I have…..I love this game, but I hate the way this league is run.

    signed: Pats fan in support of Steelers players

  19. So the NFL is allowed to force players to use bright pink towels, mouth guards and various other obnoxious forms of their own sanctioned breast cancer awareness, but he isn’t able to do the same? I guess its par for the course for the NFL. If they can’t auction the game worn stuff off and then keep 90% of the money while donating 10%, it doesn’t help them much. Who cares what these guys do with their uniforms? As long as the helmet, jersey and pants match, leave them alone.

  20. Why the surprise at the fine? Goddell has been tone deaf as long as he has been in power.

    He’s just the lucky sperm for the good old boys network, without daddy and his connections he’d be selling used cars.

  21. Did you notice the whole message on eyes thing is always the Steelers? Williams, gay, heyward… Tomlin has no control of his players at all. Yes more like a buddy or bro to them than. A coach. That explains the subpar performances and lack of leadership! Tomlin is a joke. Wake up Rooneys and Steelers fans!

  22. logicalvoicepft says:
    Oct 28, 2015 11:03 AM
    Good. Respect the shield. You get played millions to play ball and respect the game. What the NFL should do in turn is donate the fine money to a breast cancer awarness charity. These players need to RESPECT like Tom Brady has too. Noone is above the NFL
    So the NFL would like to believe. But yes, there are many above the NFL. But until now, few have had the resources or inclination to do anything about the NFL’s incorrect assumptions. But it will happen again. Someone with Brady’s resolve and resources will take the NFL to court and will win.
    The administration has become a disgusting cluster of minions, blindly following their Narcissistic leader Goodell. Clear the decks and lets concentrate on football again. No one needs to hear about these people. They are leaches and nothing more.

  23. It fines people for wearing eye black as a tribute to a parent,
    shoe color for domestic violence…breast cancer awareness…
    being probably more likely than not generally aware.

    Yeah. Good job Rog. Way to go.

  24. Memo to 345 Park Ave:

    1) Who was the one that first proposed wearing pink stuff in October? DEANGELO WILLIAMS. Great job of biting the hand that fed you, Einstein.

    2) What’s up with the odd fine amount?

    3) The fans are not as stupid as you think. Most are very aware that charities don’t get a dime of all this fine money, only the Commissioner gets it.

    4) If eye black is a part of the uniform, why aren’t all players required to wear it?

    5) Now that we have established that eye black is not a part of the uniform, back off a bit and let players put messages regarding charities and “(insert name of cause here ) awareness month” in their eye black. Nothing political or personal, just charitable work.

  25. By the way, will someone, anyone, PLEASE start a new professional football league? I’m begging you! The NFL isn’t your Daddy’s NFL and it truly sucks.

  26. Their employer asks that for 60 minutes they wear what everyone wears, hence uniform. The other minutes and hours of the day and week are up to the player. Do what you need to do outside the game of football. Your podium as an NFL player is gigantic, tweet, post on facebook, give to your community, answer every media question by promoting your cause but for 60 minutes of the week follow the rules.

  27. Slave ownership, no? Is this the 1800’s?

    Ya know, I said the EXACT same thing when I was an EMT, and I starting showing up for work in my pajamas. Who the heck do these employers think they are, Simon LeGree?

  28. fines to be allocated as follows: 50% to the Players Assistance Trust and 50% to charitable organizations jointly determined by the NFL and the NFLPA. In the absence
    of said joint determination, the NFL and the NFLPA shall each determine a charitable organization or organizations to which half of the second 50% shall be allocated.


  29. You can’t just do whatever you want to. Rules are in place for a reason and must be enforced. Otherwise a free for all anything goes atmosphere is created.

  30. Rules are rules. I can’t wear jeans to work but I don’t cry about it. Nor do I risk losing my job and just do it. Grow up people.

  31. Can’t these people know that they can’t do nothing, NFL IS Running a German constarble.

Leave a Reply

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.