Titans coach Mike Mularkey was happy to allow linebacker Avery Williamson to wear 9/11-themed cleats Sunday, in violation of the league’s uniform policy.
And he also said he’d pay any fine Williamson gets, even though that’s against the rules too.
Via Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com, Mularkey has supported Williamson’s tribute to victims and first responders throughout.
“I said, ‘I’m going to shoot you straight like I shoot everybody straight: If you don’t wear those shoes, I’ll be very disappointed in you. Because all I want from you guys is to do things the right way,'” Mularkey said. “And him wearing those shoes is him doing something the right way.
First-time violators of the uniform code are fined $6,076, with $12,154 for a second violation.
But the league’s policy on fines and appeals also makes it clear Mularkey can’t back his player in the way he said he would: “Additional fines may be imposed on team management and coaching staffs for condoning, permitting, etc., violations in this area.”
At a time when the league is trying to determine a way to allow players to send certain messages at certain times (i.e. when they can control the message and the timing), it will be interesting to see how hard they come down on the Titans coach and linebacker for violating the letter of their law.