Police Union Offers to Pay Avery Williamson's Fine for 9/11 Cleats

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistSeptember 10, 2016

NASHVILLE, TN - AUGUST 20:  Avery Williamson #54 of the Tennessee Titans comes down the tunnel before a preseason game against the Carolina Panthers at Nissan Stadium on August 20, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  The Panthers defeated the Titans 26-16.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Two police unions have offered to pay the fine of Tennessee Titans linebacker Avery Williamson should he wear custom cleats designed to honor victims of the 9/11 attacks in Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings.

"We read, with understandable interest, your piece on Avery Williamson and the NFL's stance on Avery honoring the September 11th victims," Bobby Egbert, the public information officer for the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association, wrote to Jason Wolf of the Tennessean. "We, along with the New Jersey State Police Benevolent Association, are offering to pay any reasonable fine levied by the NFL if Avery chooses to wear his 9/11 cleats."

Williamson, a third-year linebacker out of Kentucky, had planned to wear the airbrushed Nikes for the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. But NFL officials contacted him and said he would be fined if he wore the cleats.

"I don't want to draw negative attention, so I'm just going to focus on playing the game," Williamson told the Tennessean. "Once I heard from them, I didn't even try to argue anything. I just left it alone. I didn't want to press the issue."

The NFL has long been harsh to violators of its uniform code, which restricts players from wearing anything not specifically approved by the league. The league denied the Dallas Cowboys' request to wear a helmet decal honoring the five Dallas policemen who were killed in an act of gun violence in July.

The NFL also fined Pittsburgh Steelers DeAngelo Williams and William Gay last year for violations of the uniform code. Williams wore eye black that supported breast cancer awareness, while Gay's purple cleats were a symbol for domestic violence awareness.

New York Giants receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Victor Cruz will wear patriotic-themed cleats Sunday. Beckham has worn such customized kicks throughout his career but has not faced any (public) punishment from the NFL. It's unclear if he received permission to do so or if there's a difference between his and Williamson's situations.

Williamson is auctioning off his cleats to benefit Operation Warrior Wishes.

    

Follow Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) on Twitter.

Related

    NFL Places Temporary Ban on Pyro After Fire at Nissan Stadium

    NFL logo
    NFL

    NFL Places Temporary Ban on Pyro After Fire at Nissan Stadium

    Kyle Newport
    via Bleacher Report

    Titans Sticking with Mariota

    Mike Vrabel says Titans aren't looking to make a change at QB right now

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Titans Sticking with Mariota

    Mike Vrabel says Titans aren't looking to make a change at QB right now

    Mike Chiari
    via Bleacher Report

    Calvin Johnson Opens Up About Concussions, Weed & Opioid Abuse in the NFL

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Calvin Johnson Opens Up About Concussions, Weed & Opioid Abuse in the NFL

    Tim Daniels
    via Bleacher Report

    Jaguars vs. Titans: Week 3 Sack Analysis

    Tennessee Titans logo
    Tennessee Titans

    Jaguars vs. Titans: Week 3 Sack Analysis

    Big Cat Country
    via Big Cat Country