OK, so here’s the story. Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs wants to commemorate the victims of 9/11 by wearing these gloves and cleats. The season’s set of games happen to fall on the 10th anniversary of the tragedy. The problem with the gloves and cleats is that it is a violation of the NFL’s uniform code — something that the NFL takes pride in adhering to.
Right now, it is unknown whether or not Briggs would be allowed to wear the gloves and if he does, how much he would be fined. And if he does wear the gloves and cleats on the field, then there are a whole lot of issues that will arise and I think it will all go bad.
Here is a quick background info. Reebok is the official manufacturer of all uniforms for every team. The NFL tells Reebok what they want and Reebok makes it. But because Reebok made the glove and cleats for Briggs, that must mean a few things.
- Reebok decided to not follow the NFL and do something on their own.
- The NFL had a chance to prevent this controversy to happen but they didn’t.
- Who really is in control here?
It’s going to be bad public relations regardless of what happens. The NFL is going to look bad if they punish Briggs for trying to honor the victims. But at the same time, look at the gloves. Reebok logo right out in front. It’s a shameful way to promote your product. And even if Briggs doesn’t wear it, the talk is already there and the publicity for Reebok is in the people’s minds.
The NFL has already made tons of efforts to commemorate the anniversary that day. There will be plenty of pre-game events. Two home teams that were affected by the tragedy will get national attention. Oh and plus, every team uniform already has a patch to honor the victims.
So in that sense, the NFL has already done things for 9/11. What Briggs is trying to do is make more of a spectacle of it by drawing attention to himself. But I don’t think he understands that.
“For the anniversary of 9/11 game why is it if I wear shoes and gloves that are the colors of our nations flag..I will be fined by the league,” Briggs wrote on Twitter. “Shaking my head . . . looks like I’m getting fined this week.”
Briggs now has made it more of a me vs. the man issue and the whole idea of commemorating the victims gets lost in the shuffle.
I’m not sure what’s the right answer to any of this. But at least from what I’ve seen so far, it’s not going to end well. And realistically, out of all this, I think the NFL comes out the good guy. Here’s why:
- Briggs makes a spectacle out of it and now because of this, it’s national news. The NFL has already put in plans of honoring the victims and Briggs decides to one up the league.
- Reebok for making the gloves, going over the NFL’s head and using it as a cheap (albeit very smart in a business sense) of stirring up publicity.
- NFL for not being firm in preventing this mess. But in the end, the NFL becomes the victim out of all this — but the majority of the people might not view it that way.