The NFL are weirdly strict on their rules about what players wear on gamedays.
So far this season, we have already seen De'Angelo Williams be barred from wearing pink in any month except October, and Cam Heyward twice be fined for wearing eye black that had a message about his recently deceased father on it.
Which is why it comes as a big surprise to learn that Devon Still wasn't punished at all for his personalized eye black last season - exposing the NFL's hypocrisy.
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The former Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Still says the NFL did not fine him for wearing personalized eye black honoring his daughter, he told ESPN.
The NFL fined Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Heyward $5,787 after Week 5 for wearing eye black with the words ”Iron Head” written on it in honor of his father, former NFL player Craig “Ironhead” Heyward, who died in 2006 after battling brain cancer.
For every game last season, Still wrote the message “Leah Strong” on his eye black in support of his 4-year-old daughter, Leah, who was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer last year.
“When I did it, I had no idea you weren't allowed to do it,” Still said. “It was just something I wanted to do for my daughter to take her out on the field with me. I didn’t really get any backlash from the league.”
Still said he was surprised to hear that Heyward was fined.
Heyward announced Tuesday that he will no longer wear the customized eye black after coming to an agreement with the NFL.
The NFL has designated October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, as the month to honor the fight against cancer, allowing teams to wear pink on their uniforms. However, the league denied Steelers running back Williams’s request to wear pink apparel all season in memory of his mother and four aunts, who all died of breast cancer.
This is just another sad indictment of the NFL, who will regularly say one thing and do another in the name of PR.