Players who’ll be participating in the stay-at-home draft aren’t required to wear suits. But they’re prohibits from wearing a long list of things.
Darren Rovell of TheActionNetwork.com recently characterized the memo from the league regarding the topic as explaining that the clothing is “expected to be clean, free of liberal or hate speech, and cannot make a political statement,” with no “[r]eferences to alcohol, drugs or gambling (including poker).” PFT has obtained the full list, and there’s a lot more on it than that. (Also, the document says “libel” not “liberal.”)
The document prohibits the following items or aspects of clothing:
1. “Third-party logos other than those of NFL Official Licensed Partners; Nike, Adidas, UnderArmour, and New Era.”
2. “Disparaging depictions of the NFL, or any other third-party brands.”
3. “Non-NFL sports organizations or leagues.” (So much for the XFL Defenders garb.)
4. “Racial, religious, or ethnic slurs.”
5. “Explicit language.”
6. “Obscene, pornographic (or escort services), violent (including firearms or other weapons), or sexual imagery.”
7. “Libel or hate speech.”
8. “Political statements.”
9. “References to alcohol (including beer and wine), drugs (including cannabis), and/or gambling products (including poker).”
10. “Tobacco products (including e-cigarettes).”
11. “Reference to any illicit substances or activities.”
12. “Pharmaceuticals (including OTD products) including restorative and/or enhancement products.”
13. “Dietary and/or nutritional substances and products commonly referred to as ‘energy drinks.'”
14. “References to movies, video games, and other media that contains or promotes objectionable material or subject matter.”
15. “Derogatory statements regarding the NFL, its owners, employees, and/or NFL partners.”
Any player who doesn’t want to comply can simply refuse the invitation to the draft. Or they can request an appearance fee to participate, as all of them should. And maybe they would, if they weren’t conditioned to believe that having an NFL franchise call dibs on their exclusive services for the next four or five years represents the realization of a lifelong dream.
In reality, it’s a business — and part of that business entails getting players to provide free content for the draft show. Not only are they willing to do it, but they’re also willing to let the NFL dictate the terms of how they’ll do it.