Two Pittsburgh Steelers were fined by the NFL today for supporting causes that were dear to their hearts, running back DeAngelo Williams and cornerback William Gay.
DeAngelo Williams who lost his mother to breast cancer in 2004 was fined $5,757 for a first-offense uniform violation. He wore a breast cancer ribbon with the words “We will find a cure” on his eye black. Williams’ had requested to wear pink all year, but was denied by NFL vice president for football operations Troy Vincent.
As for William Gay, he was fined the same amount for wearing purple cleats to show support for domestic violence awareness. When Gay was seven years old, his stepfather fatally shot his mother. Gay knows he broke the rules and hopes that the NFL will send his entire fine to a domestic violence cause.
The league is not against eye black messages supporting victims of cancer, as long as that eye black is provided by the league. The NFL does have a breast cancer initiative for the month of October, allowing players to wear pink cleats, towels or other uniform items.
The NFL has been unbending in their opposition to any messages sent via uniforms that are not pre-approved by the league.