Kyle Shanahan has a beef with the league over his hat for 2022


Fifteen years after former 49ers coach Mike Nolan struggled with the NFL for the periodic ability to wear a suit on the sidelines, current 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan is grappling with the league over the hat he’ll wear (or not wear) during games during the 2022 season.

In a recent appearance on KNBR (via, Shanahan complained about rules limiting his potential hat selections.

I have such beef with them right now,” Shanahan said, without specifically identifying the “them” to whom he was referring. “It’s a tough issue going on. They won’t let me pick out my own one. They won’t let me wear any one that’s from a [previous] year, so I can’t wear like an older one. I’ve got to wear the new ones that they give this year. Unfortunately, there’s none I like wearing. So hopefully, we can figure it out or wait ’til Salute to Service.”

He elaborated, but not by much, on the basis for his beef.

“It’s just deals,” Shanahan said. “I don’t want to go too hard and get fined or anything but trust me, trust me, I’m upset about it.”

He’s clearly talking about the league, and the rules developed jointly by the NFL and its exclusive hat sponsor, New Era.

There’s surely a win-win rattling around in this one somewhere. Shanahan works directly with New Era, which develops a special hat for him — and which then can use the news coverage of it as a launching point for an effort to sell the officially-licensed Kyle Shanahan hat.

Regardless, all coaches must comply with the terms of the deals the league has done. It’s why coaches no longer wear suits. It’s why they only wear the things that the NFL makes available for fans to buy.

29 responses to “Kyle Shanahan has a beef with the league over his hat for 2022

  1. Jerry Jones would pick up the fines for wearing what he wanted.

    Jed York… not so much.

  2. Typical NFL trying to control everything and forcing everyone to conform. Shanahan has a legitimate beef. Fight the Power, Kyle!

  3. Dude makes a jokey comment on a radio show and people flip out like he’s skipping film study over it.

  4. I still think it’s so weird how they said coaches can’t wear a suit. If I was a coach I’d probably want to wear a suit, I’d be the best dressed person on the field, lol

  5. Belichick doesn’t belong to the coaches union.
    Why he can wear whatever he wants, and isn’t included in any NFL video game.

    gophersnot says:
    August 11, 2022 at 12:44 pm
    Belicheat wears torn hoodies. What gives?

  6. Maybe Kyle Shanahan should bring back the old Vince Lombardi/Tom Landry/Hank Stram fedora hats.

  7. I always wondered how Matt Patricia got away with wearing a non-sponsored pencil behind his ear.

  8. Gee how about shutting your yap an not wear a hat? Trying to cover that bald spot just like your daddy has?

  9. So glad he didn’t stay in Washington. This guy deserves to have a quitter on his team like Trent Williams.

  10. It’s really sad that the NFL controls and has deals for how every person on the field dresses and what they can or cant wear and the colleges are doing the same thing. For the players they are wearing these uniforms and equipment to either protect themselves or help them play the game in some way and they only get to chose from the selections that the NFL gives them when they may be more comfortable in something else and in such a dangerous game players need to be able to trust their equipment. I know that it crazy that a coach is having issues with what cap he can wear but to have such mundane parts of ur life controlled just is too much and robs personnel freedom.

  11. pftmember says:
    August 11, 2022 at 1:04 pm
    I always wondered how Matt Patricia got away with wearing a non-sponsored pencil behind his ear.

    He had a separate contract with Ticonderoga #2?

  12. That’s some fairly incredible arrogance on the part of NFL and New Era marketers to think that anybody gives a rat’s behind about what the hat looks like on a sideline coach. They must spend their days congratulating one another about how they now know that some kid is going to walk into a cap shop and tell the clerk “Heck no, I ain’t wearing that Adidas cap! Not when Matt Eberflus is flashing New Era, baby!”

  13. What a fickled group. Any other time you’d say the employee has the right to do what they want, but here many side with the employee. Make up your minds. I say wear the authorized uniform or quit. He still has the freedom to walk away. They can’t make him wear a hat. He’s a grown man.

    Show ’em you mean business. QUIT or shut up!

  14. It’s the man under the hat, not the hat over the man. This guy is a wash cloth of a man.

  15. Shanahan is a perfect fit for Clara. Analogous to Newsome as a Presidential candidate yet his house is clearly not in order.

  16. Always tough to move on from your favorite look but probably better off to move on from last years’ NFC West 3rd place finish and 20-17 loss in the NFC Championship game to your bitter rivals, the SB Champion Los Angeles Rams.

  17. PropertySearchVA says:
    August 11, 2022 at 1:16 pm
    So glad he didn’t stay in Washington. This guy deserves to have a quitter on his team like Trent Williams.
    Yea, things have gone great for Washington since Shannahan and Trent Williams left. That organization is a county fair port-a-potty on fire in a dumpster.

  18. New Era and all sponsors pay the NFL money based on the TV exposure their products get.

    With the cameras on TV showing the coach (and his hat) probably 20+ times a game if not more,not having coaches wear those products means the sponsors want money back or won’t outlay as much.

    All that money feeds into the NFL machine which trickles around and down to pay coaches, give them the technology to coach more effectively, have training facilities etc etc.

    That said I don’t think a hat in mandatory, lots of coaches don’t wear them, but again, the league likely asks coaches if they are wearing hats and then the fee for New Era is set after that.

  19. The best solution would be to let Shanahan wear whatever hat he wants, and for the league to determine how much clothing sponsorship money goes to the 49ers, and fine him 1/17th of that amount each game he wears a non-sponsored hat.

    If he doesn’t want to abide by the contract he willingly and happily signed, he doesn’t have to, but the NFL doesn’t have to pay him as if he is.

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