When it comes to the periodic issue of players committing uniform violations, the NFL previously has punished only the players. Starting this year, that could change.
The 2017 NFL rule book has added three words (“and the club”) that now permit the Commissioner to impose discipline on both the player and the team for uniform violations, beyond any in-game penalties that could be called.
And that’s significant. All too often, it’s obvious that the team’s equipment staff had a role, directly or indirectly, in facilitating or allowing the violation to occur. With no potential punishment for the team, however, there was no reason for the team to refuse to participate.
Now, there is. And now it’s safe to say that teams will be taking affirmative steps to keep players from wearing non-conforming shoes or other non-conforming gear in order to avoid being required to make an involuntary contribution to the charity of the NFL’s choice.