DeSean Jackson was ordered to take off John Madden tribute cleats before game

Las Vegas Raiders v Indianapolis Colts
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The NFL honored John Madden before every game on Sunday, but Raiders receiver DeSean Jackson wasn’t allowed to honor the Hall of Fame Raiders coach the way he wanted.

Jackson posted on Instagram that he wore special cleats with Madden’s name, image and signature on them, but officials told him he had to take them off before the game.

“NFL hated on me and said if I didn’t take cleats off they was gonna remove me from the game! I had these made for the legendary John Madden.”

The NFL typically does not permit players to wear any type of custom messages on their uniform, with the exception of the one week out of the year when players participate in “My Cause, My Cleats,” with each player designing his cleats in a way that draws attention to an issue that matters to him.

17 responses to “DeSean Jackson was ordered to take off John Madden tribute cleats before game

  1. Exceptions can and should be made. The NFL just doesn’t get it. They can’t make money on it so the answer is no.

  2. Pretty sure I saw Madden cleats featured during the Bills/Falcons game broadcast. Rightfully so. Never occurred to me the NFL would crack down on tributes to perhaps its dearest soul, RIP John.

  3. Just one more thing that makes me hate the NFL but I love football so I will still watch it.

  4. NFL did the right thing! If that is the policy just follow the rules. Show up my house with muddy shoes and I will not allow entry. I will make no exception unless the world is coming to an end.

  5. Remove him from the game? Did they threaten to remove Kamara last year for wearing xmas cleats… just fine him and move on

  6. This is pretty bad. I get that some causes could be met with opposition (albeit normally by bumbling idiots) but there should absolutely be no one arguing against honoring one of the greatest people ever attached to the game. Terrible look NFL.

  7. It would have been inappropriate to wear those cleats on the “my cause, my cleats” week.

    It was appropriate to wear them during week 17 of the 2021 NFL season.

  8. Same idea as patent law. Let some things go and others will make the case that some got preferential treatment. There are rules, follow them. Besides, stunts like this probably get more attention than the shoes in the moment.

  9. Raiders team player DeSean Jackson has custom cleats made in honor of legendary John Madden’s 60+ career with the NFL/World of Sports (in general) and the contributions Madden made as Head Coach of the Raiders (specifically).

    = NFL threatens: remove custom cleats or be prevented from game play (citing custom uniform only allowed during pre-season/+1day for charity event)

    Bills team player Stefan Diggs has custom cleats made in honor of legendary John Madden’s 60+ year career with NFL/World of Sports.

    = NFL says nothing; allows custom cleats during Bills game.
    = Media notes Diggs is known for wearing custom cleats during games; cites custom Christmas cleats worn over the holidays.


    NFL policies/rules need to be enforced consistently. Allowing one, but not the other is a clear-cut example of discrimination.

  10. Refs are human. So is Jackson. Jackson has a history of being disliked by players and coaches. That’s why he bounced around so much. Refs probably don’t care for him either. And besides, he’s not what I would call a John Madden kind of player.

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