Police unions offer to pay fine if NFL disciplines player for 9/11 cleats

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Titans linebacker Avery Williamson said he was planning to wear special red, white and blue cleats to commemorate 9/11 on Sunday. The NFL told him that if he did, he’d be fined for breaking the uniform rules.

Now two police unions have stepped up to say they’ll pay the fine if Williamson goes through with it.

The Port Authority Police Benevolent Association told the Tennesseean that it and another police union will pay Williamson’s fines.

“The PAPD is the police department that has always patrolled the World Trade Center complex. On September 11, 2001, the PAPD lost 37 police officers at the World Trade Center, the largest, single loss ever suffered by a police department in the history of American law enforcement,” the union said in a statement. “We read, with understandable interest, your piece on Avery Williamson and the NFL’s stance on Avery honoring the September 11th victims. We, along with the New Jersey State Police Benevolent Association, are offering to pay any reasonable fine levied by the NFL if Avery chooses to wear his 9/11 cleats.”

Some would argue that any fine the NFL gives to a player for wearing patriotic cleats is not “reasonable.” Others would argue that a police union’s money could be better spent. Williamson, for his part, said he doesn’t want to cause trouble.

“I don’t want to draw negative attention, so I’m just going to focus on playing the game,” Williamson said. “Once I heard from them, I didn’t even try to argue anything. I just left it alone. I didn’t want to press the issue.”

The league would be wise to let this one go. The NFL makes exceptions to its uniform rules for reasons like breast cancer awareness and could do so here as well. If Williamson wears the cleats, neither he nor the police union should have to pay a fine.

107 responses to “Police unions offer to pay fine if NFL disciplines player for 9/11 cleats

  1. Never understood why the NFL is suck a stickler when it comes to the uniforms. They don’t have to go as wild as the NBA but, c’mon now. Have some fun, mix it up a bit.

  2. I agree! The NFL makes exceptions in other cases. Clearly, this is a case where the NFL should make an exception to remember those who lost their lives in this terrorist attack.

  3. O.K. This is starting to get a bit out of hand.
    Too many statements.
    This isn’t your personal soap box..
    This isn’t a personal fashion show.
    Put on your UNIFORMS, (do we know what that word actually means?), and play football.

    Police Unions have nothing better to spend their money on?
    I guess that they are not as underpaid as they say.

    If we wanted to know what everyone believed in, and every wrong that they wanted righted….we’d ask.

    Play. Freaking. Football.

  4. It’s about $ with the NFL. If they don’t profit off of it it won’t be allowed.

    That’s sad considering the massive loss of life America suffered on that day.

  5. NFL has it backwards on this one. No surprises here.
    #standup ….don’t sit like the idiots on the left coast

  6. So that is what they spend union dues on? Making sure millionaire players that they like don’t have to pay fines?

    I’m glad they have so much money to waste.

    I get it, September 11th and all, but I think the police union is forgetting what their function is. I agree that the NFL should let him wear the cleats, but if I were an officer for the PAPD, I’d be pretty angry this is how they want to spend union dues.

  7. The NFL is pure garbage if they don’t allow a player to show support of 9/11. What a completely wasted opportunity for them to welcome some form of unity among this divide that’s been happening. Honestly, only the NFL would not allow this. Only them could screw this up.

  8. So let me get this straight. The NFL want’s to commemorate the tragedy with some sort of military show (flyovers?) but doesn’t want it’s players to wear something to commemorate the tragedy?

  9. ” The NFL told him that if he did, he’d be fined for breaking the uniform rules.”

    Is that the same NFL whose commissioner wrapped himself in the flag the other day? The one that sees expressing patriotism as a money maker? On 9/11 of all days we as a people need to put aside our agendas and our isms and honor our fallen. They were murdered by scum that thought we are all oppressors regardless of what color we are simply because of where we live.

  10. The NFL looks dumber and dumber all the time. How about getting your referees to figure out how to interpret and apply the rules of the game properly, then start playing fashion police.

  11. But a known cheater like Tom Brady can have the NFL decal stripped off his helmet and nothing happens? He is too rich and powerful to do the removal himself so it is someone else’s fault.

  12. It doesnt matter if “others would argue that a Police Union’s money could be better apent.” Its their money. That money is earned by the Officers and paid to the Union as Dues.

  13. This writer doesn’t seem to think being an NFL player is a JOB. If the employer has a dress code, then it’s not up to the player to change it to fit his social/political messages.

    He can do it on his own time – ie. the other 100 hours during the week where he’s not representing the team.

  14. And the Cowboys should go ahead and commemorate the fallen Officers of Dallas. Make Goodell fine them. That’ll look great for him.

  15. As a libertarian I have to wonder why the NFL would care so much and why the police unions would think this is a good way to spend their money. You’re telling me they couldn’t get a phone call or meeting with the NFL and work this out. Sounds reasonable to me. The NFL has done more right than they get credit for. With fantasy football and our hometown team being a contender, everyone I know is jacked for tomorrow. The NFL would be better off letting these guys make reasonable protests or honor 9/11 or really anything within reason. It would promote these players and grow the game even more. Unfortunately everyone has to have an opinion and be offended by everything these days. My daughter just started high school and keeps complaining about these rules the school imposes. They’re all a direct result of victim parents and students complaining.

  16. I guess this is why the NFL has so many rules. Rosters more than 4 times the NBA and over twice as many as MLB…too many moving parts trying to slip through cracks and get attention on game day.

  17. The NFL will fine players who want to show respect to the country who has made them wealthy, but does nothing to the players who blatantly disrespect that same country by not standing for the national anthem? This is a complete travesty! The NFL needs to take a strong stance against these hypocrites who kneel when they should be standing; A one game suspension for the first offense, a full season suspension for the second. Let’s see how they feel once paycheck is gone, and they’re no longer rich angry young men.

  18. Enough! Following the NFL is becoming too painful. Enough Goodell. Enough Kapernick. Enough controversial referring. Enough concussions. Enough players and coaches poor behavior. Enough exorbitant ticket pricing and associated costs Enough cheating. And the list goes on. Enough!

  19. The NFL has to stand it’s ground on this. Regardless of how important 9/11 is, the slippery slope of supposed equality will require similar consideration be given to every cause ever thought of.

  20. This is so messed up. Tomorrow if you wear special cleats to honor the fallen victims of 9/11 you might get fined, but if you don’t stand for the national anthem tomorrow nothing will happen to you.

  21. So Kaepernick can wear pig socks & kneel during the anthem but Williamson is going to be fined for 9/11 tribute cleats? Way to go, NFL. Integrity.

  22. I’m not a big fan of the Police, yes I know they are a necessary evil. They protect and serve, but there are many corrupt and bad cops.

    That being said, this is pretty cool. The NFL does stupid stuff like this all the time. If they are all about the flag as they say, let the players tribute with their cleats on this day. Similar to work places allowing sports wear on game day.

  23. When will the Full 32 end the reign of Dictator Goodell and allow America to get back to enjoying the game. Their product has become an after-thought

  24. You employer does not owe you free speech. However, once you allow an employee to do something and in fact condone it you open the door to others wanting to do their thing. Now it will be discrimination and I hope players take them to court. The NFL deserves this for stepping into the realm of politics and social issues.

  25. .
    Goodell’s pollster, Joe Lockhart, wants to frame the discussion as anti American players vs the last true patriot in the US, Roger Goodell.

  26. Why would the police expect the NFL Corporation to show respect on this most important day? We are talking about the same corporation that charges the military when honoring service members, country, and flag during their corporate halftimes.

  27. The NFL is right in keeping uniforms free from personal expressions. I think showing support for the country and fallen heroes is wonderful, but it can be done without customizing a uniform.

    Sure, the players cleats are arguably respectful, but what happens when the day comes and the intended show of support is distasteful? It’ll be too late, the precedent has been set.

    If a player wants to show support, he can do that anytime and anywhere, just not during a game. Instead he can host a charity, donate money, spend time with survivors, etc.

    It doesn’t have to be and shouldn’t be “Hey look at ME, while I do something unselfish and patriotic”.

    Respect for Williamson for knowing when to pull back and not press the issue further. Hope he can donate the cleats to charity and use the press and media hype for good.

  28. The NFL makes money off of breast cancer awareness. Selling jerseys and pink memorabilia.

    There is no money to be had in having players remember 9/11 on their own, so of course they won’t allow it.

    At least not until they begin to sell jerseys with the American flag on them.

  29. NFL is happy to abuse the US Flag Code by putting flag stickers on the back of it’s helmets, and happy to enforce it’s own abuse. But how dare a player wear the wrong color cleats! Cleats! I would say “Stop The Insanity!”, but this is getting beyond insane.

  30. So since the NFL cant monetize 9/11 like they can BCA and Military “Appreciation” (that our tax dollars paid for anyways) they are gonna fine Williams. This is one of the times that I loath the league.

  31. Good for you Avery, classy on all counts. Good for you police unions, you make me proud.

    There’s a special circle in hell for these “decision makers” we have in our country today.

  32. You idiots still can’t figure it out? America is supposed to work for everyone. Not just for you. So, no, the NFL isn’t getting it wrong. They are enforcing their rules appropriately. In fact it would be extremely un-American if they changed their policy and imposed their will on certain individuals just because the loudest and most ignorant people want their opinions elevated over everyone else’s.

    Wave your flag, don’t expect others to waive their rights

  33. So let me get this straight the police unions that condemned Kapernick’s actions are willing to pay the fine for cleats? Seriously….How quickly they forget. Well let me remind them of what our great nation put and continues to put the survivours and families of the 9-11 first responders through to get proper health care for the injuries and diseases they incured by rushing in to save lives. Just look up 9-11 first responders bill and you’ll see what I mean. You see there’s a difference in having respect for the people making sacrifices for this country vs the people who are actually running it.

  34. smashadams1 says:
    The NFL makes money off of breast cancer awareness. Selling jerseys and pink memorabilia.

    I beli8eve the proceeds are donated to the cause.

  35. Ridiculous, disgraceful, idiotic, pathetic, pick your word!

    This is professional football, not a private high school. While a certain level of uniformity is OK, fining someone just because his shoes don’t match what Uncle Roger wants, especially with the 15th anniversary of 9-11 looming, is stupid.

    The league should give players a little leeway if they want to honor 9-11, not pulling off this kind of crap.

    Incidentally, just a nod to the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association and the New Jersey State Police Benevolent Association for offering to step up and pay the fine. That shows more class than the league.

  36. How about this: every player that wears any patriotic gear on 9/11 gets the fine, pays it and the owner of the respective players team contributes the same amount as said fine and all of that money goes into a pot that is donated to the families who lost someone on 9/11. Now that would be boss.

  37. THIS JUST IN!!! NFL has stated that all NFL Employee protesters will be allowed to wear cleats with the North Korean flag on it. They will be honored at halftime. ESPN will be giving them the courage award.

  38. The only reason the NFL aligns itself with the pink uniform stuff is for draw in more female fans and $$$. Don’t kid yourselves if you believe the NFL looks at that from a benevolent point of view.

  39. The NFL is putting 9/11 stickers on the helmets to honor those who lost their lives. The red, white and blue shoes also violate the flag code, just as all those who stand for the national anthem and leave their hats on. Is it also ironic the the police union advocates violating rules?

  40. I think it’s a great sign when police support a little civil disobedience. America is strong enough to withstand our police officers going against the rules, and also strong enough to withstand any form of protest. This is why we love America and all the freedom that comes with it. See what Colin Kaepernick started. Colin actually wasn’t the first one. America was founded on this stuff. Otherwise we’d still be paying taxes to the King of England. Like it or not, we’re a country of fighters. It’s funny how 9/11 brought everyone together to fight one common enemy. Now we’re back to fighting each other. But that’s ok. We’re all on the same team when it matters. Fight on America!

  41. So its mandatory that every NFL player wear the same color shoes, but not mandatory to stand for the national anthem. Oh yeah NFL, you’ll win loads of people over that.

  42. “So its mandatory that every NFL player wear the same color shoes, but not mandatory to stand for the national anthem. Oh yeah NFL, you’ll win loads of people over that.”

    Are you suggesting that an adaptation of old English drinking song has more to do with the NFL than NFL uniforms?

    Shall I even start with the 1st Amendment or shall I assume that you have a brick for a head?

  43. sndmn331 says:
    Sep 10, 2016 10:58 AM
    This is so messed up. Tomorrow if you wear special cleats to honor the fallen victims of 9/11 you might get fined, but if you don’t stand for the national anthem tomorrow nothing will happen to you.

    The league has repeatedly reminded people that it is not mandatory to stand. Or are you howling monkeys going to keep repeating it as if it is mandatory in hopes that becomes mandatory by osmosis?

  44. It’s things like this that makes me sick to my stomach. It’s also things, and times like this, that make me so greatly dislike Goodell and will help to continue to tarnish his reign as commish.

  45. The NFL will fine him if he wears the patriotic cleats.
    Why? Simple….because it’s the wrong thing to do and Goodell has that life plan locked down.

  46. Mr. Wright 212 says:
    Sep 10, 2016 2:15 PM

    The league has repeatedly reminded people that it is not mandatory to stand. Or are you howling monkeys going to keep repeating it as if it is mandatory in hopes that becomes mandatory by osmosis?
    Uhhh, Mr. Einstein, they are “Howler” Monkeys, not “Howling” Monkeys.

  47. For all of you that don’t think someone is patriotic enough for you, join the army. Put your own behind where your mouth is. Fight on the front lines, tough guys. Talk is easy.

  48. arvinkp says:
    Sep 10, 2016 4:05 PM
    But come October the NFL allows itself to be saturated in pink. But for a Nation remembrance… no Red, White, & Blue?
    It’s called a slippery slope. The breast cancer awareness has been prepared head of time, with approved gear. Unless you do that ahead of time what’s to prevent another player from wearing waves on his uniform to remember the 100k who died in the tsunami in 2004. I mean that’s a much greater tragedy than 9/11. The NFL is a big corp, they want control over their product. Also, it’s not like thy’re doing nothing for 9/11

  49. This is the league that wouldn’t let PEYTON MANNING wear black high top cleats in remembrance of Johnny Unitas when the Colts were going to be playing the Ravens in Baltimore……so yeah any players that wear the non approved cleats are getting fined. On a positive note the police probably won’t be out any money because they said they’d pay a reasonable fine…..the NFL fine for these infractions will probably be well beyond what the police find reasonable.

  50. The worst was the Cowboys not allowed to have a sticker on their helmets commemorating the five fallen officers. The NFL sucked big time on that.

  51. JSpicoli says:
    Sep 10, 2016 9:54 AM
    The NFL is going to lose fans if they don’t quit trying to pander to the stupid in society.

    Hahahaha!!! How do you think they have made billions so far? They have successfully been pandering to the stupid for at least the last 20 years. 95% of the fans can barely spell their names or recite the alphabet. No business panders to the stupid as expertly as the NFL does.

    You’ve got it backwards. If they stop pandering to the stupid they will go broke. Their audience is one you never want to overestimate. Underestimating them works out just fine.

  52. Why is this form of personal expression okay, but what Kaepernick or a few other athletes have done isn’t?

    Just asking the question. Not expressing my opinion so don’t get your panties in a bunch.

  53. It’s a beautiful time to live in America. Just be happy we can do whatever we want and not be executed for it.

  54. C’mon, man!

    Perhaps Americans should care less about “empty acts of patriotism” and start caring more about “accepting what American freedom truly represents”? Allowing cleats and kneeling to matter is merely an excuse to not stand up for what once made America the greatest nation on Earth. The continued laziness of a once productive and active nation is more shameful than any amount of pathetic discipline a billion-dollar company can hold over it’s millionaire employes. Perhaps stop wasting time on trivial gestures and start putting in some effort again?

    A little less football and a little more caring. Not that much less football, but some. We don’t want to get too crazy, do we?

  55. I’m getting damn tired of professional athletes pretending they actually care about people. If they really cared they would use a significant portion of the $$$$ the get for playing a game to help make the Country a better place. Instead, they sit for the National Anthem, wear “pig” socks and want to protest that there isn’t true justice in this Country. What about justice for the black people of Chicago, Detroit and Baltimore? Why aren’t they out there telling “their race” to quit killing each other? Or, do they think that’s OK? Sorry bunch of spoiled brats.

  56. Why can’t the players leave their politics at home and just play football? I’m so tired of this topic. This is just like those guys who want to kneel or lock arms during the national anthem. Who cares about cleats?

    Why can’t these guys leave their silent, peaceful footwear political statement at home and never ever talk about it – ever. That way all of us can focus on football, right?

    #hypocrisy #sarcasm

  57. Who gave the associations the power to take dues money and use it to pay this fine, if need be? Was it a handful of association leaders that made the decision? Or was it by vote of membership? I mean who gave the association the right to spend the money in this manner?

  58. I look at the vile collection of human filth that own and operate the league these days and just want to vomit.

    I’ll watch one game tomorrow and ignore everything else the league has to offer as there are many many other ways to entertain yourself

  59. I believe all players should be able to wear whatever they choose to honor whatever cause they see fit.

    each, sounds pretty stupid when you say it that way. So whose sensibilities will be offended based on which player decides to make a statement? Who is in charge of deciding what cause is worthy?

    It’s a uniform. Look it up if you don’t know the definition. Just imagine each team with 53 individuals all propping their cause witty their own personal sense of style.

    Now you’re staring to get it.

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