Starter for the Tennessee Titans, Avery Williamson, is receiving flack for wanting to wear a set of patriotic sneakers during the Sunday games.
Two police officers were so outraged by the NFL that they threatened to pay the athlete’s fine if he wears them despite the NFL’s request for him to wear uniform sneakers.
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According to reports, the specially-designed cleats would be worn Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings which also marks the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. After a league rep vowed to fine Williamson for violating uniform code, he backed off.
“I don’t want to draw negative attention, so I’m just going to focus on playing the game,” Williamson told the Tennessean newspaper, on Friday.
When Paul Nunziato, head of the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association, heard about the NFL decision, he spoke out to reporters.
“I’m making a goal line stand on this. Enough is enough! The NFL is out of bounds on this,” he insisted.
He specifically called out NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
Speaking of Goodell, he mentioned that he had “committed a personal foul against humanity,” by denying Williamson the right to wear his sneakers.
“This guy [Williamson] was hoping to honor everyone who died on 9/11, no matter what their country or color,” he continued.
“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? When is Godell going to recognize what his fan base is?”
Goodell drew the comparison between Williamson and Colin Kaepernick whose controversial decision to sit during the National Anthem has been making headlines.
“Here’s a player honoring those who died on 9/11 with a pair of cleats that he had made up himself,” he said. “It’s not like he’s kneeling during the national anthem or anything.”
According to the NY post, Williamson plans to auction the cleats for charity.