With the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks falling on the first Sunday of the 2011 NFL season, the entire football family will be paying its respects to the victims of the tragedy.
But apparently some of those tributes could actually lead to league-mandated fines.
A number of players, including Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs and Tennessee Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, are planning to wear gear that pays tribute to the victims of the attacks. One might think that the league office would applaud these touching gestures, but it turns out the opposite may be true because the commemorative equipment hasn't been authorized by the NFL. According to Yahoo's Shutdown Corner, these players could even face fines in excess of $5,000.
Reebok has apparently sent a number of memorial gloves, cleats and helmets to players across the NFL. The wife of Washington Redskins tight end Chris Cooley tweeted this picture of the gloves and cleats that her husband received.
Briggs tweeted about the gear, stating intends to wear and pay any fine that is levied by the league office.
For the anniversary of 9/11 game why is it if I wear shoes and gloves that are the colors of r nations flag..I will be fined by the league
Fines for gloves could be as much as 5k..the shoes 8-10k I think. not 100% on the shoe fine.
Under Commissioner Roger Goodell, the NFL has not been shy about fining or suspending players, but league spokesman Greg Aiello told ESPN's Mike & Mike in the Morning that he doesn't believe Briggs will be fined at all.
However, according to both ESPN and Yahoo, Peyton Manning faced a potential $25,000 fine in 2002, when he wanted to wear special cleats to honor the late Johnny Unitas. The September 11 anniversary is obviously something touching more far lives around the country, but it may be hard for Goodell's hardline administration to go against the league's standard policy.
The league does have its own plans for honoring those that were lost in the terrorist attacks, but according to ESPN the changes in apparell will be officially limited to "a patch on their jerseys featuring a ribbon with stars and stripes along with the dates 9/11/01 and 9/11/11." Coaching staff and personnel will wear a similar pin on the sidelines.
UPDATE: Michael Signora, NFL Vice President of Football Communications, tweeted Friday afternoon that NFL told teams this morning that "players may wear special shoes & gloves from NFL licensees for Week 1 games." Click HERE for more.