Despite Potential Fines, NFL Players Wore 9/11 Cleats

Last week, we previewed a pair of custom cleats to be worn by Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Mohamed Sanu to honor the 15th anniversary of 9/11. At the time, it wasn’t clear if Sanu would actually be able to wear the cleats during the Sept. 11 game due to the NFL’s strict uniform restrictions.

As more players such as New York Giants receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Victor Cruz voiced their plans to wear cleats in honor of 9/11, rumors began to surface that the NFL was cracking down on the colorful shoes.

“I don’t want to draw negative attention, so I’m just going to focus on playing the game,” Tennessee Titans linebacker Avery Williamson told The Tennessean after an NFL representative threatened to fine him for wearing his custom cleats.

The NFL’s decision drew the ire of New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association president Patrick Colligan, who, along with Port Authority Police Benevolent Association head Paul Nunziato, vowed to cover Williamson’s fines.

“We want him to wear the cleats, and we’ll pay the fine. He [Williamson] was absolutely doing a great thing, and the NFL is threatening with a fine?” Colligan told the New York Post.

Mohamed Sanu
Atlanta Falcons’ Mohamed Sanu warms up wearing cleats in remembrance of 9/11 before the first half of an NFL football game on Sept. 11, 2016, in Atlanta.

Still, despite all of this, many players around the league ended up wearing their patriotic cleats anyway. Sanu, Beckham, Cruz, and Williamson were all spotted in custom cleats during Sept. 11’s Week 1 action.

As of 3:40 p.m. ET, there’s been no confirmation that the NFL followed through with its threat to issue fines for the cleats.

Odell Beckham
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. wears special cleats for 9/11 prior to an NFL game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 11, 2016, in Arlington, Texas.
Victor Cruz
New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (80) wears patriotic cleats on the anniversary of 9/11 prior to an NFL game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 11, 2016, in Arlington, Texas.
Avery Williamson
Tennessee Titans linebacker Avery Williamson wears shoes honoring victims of the 9/11 attacks in the second half of an NFL game against the Minnesota Vikings on Sept. 11, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn.

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