Titans linebacker Avery Williamson went through with his plans to wear red, white and blue cleats to commemorate 9/11 on Sunday, despite the NFL threatening to fine him.
Williamson had initially backed down when the NFL told him special cleats were not allowed on 9/11, but after the Port Authority Police, who lost 37 officers on 9/11, offered to pay his fine, Williamson wore the cleats to honor them.
“I just felt like I got so much support across the country, and especially when the New York and New Jersey police unions said that they would pay my fine, that really meant a lot,” Williamson said, “so I felt like if I didn’t wear them, I just wouldn’t have felt good about it. I felt like I had to do that, just for myself and to represent the people that were lost and the people that do their jobs every day to protect us. I feel like it was just a duty.”
Williamson said Titans coach Mike Mularkey and G.M. Jon Robinson were OK with his decision to wear the cleats. He now plans to auction off the cleats and donate the money to a veterans’ organization, and he said he is also working on treating some veterans to a game.
If the NFL fines Williamson for that, the NFL is committing a serious blunder. Williamson made a nice gesture, and the NFL should support him.