NFL Reportedly Allowing Players to Wear More Personalized Cleats Before Games

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 15, 2017

Cincinnati Bengals running back Rex Burkhead wears his custom cleats to support the Team Jack Foundation for the cause of pediatric brain cancer during practice before an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
Gary Landers/Associated Press

The NFL reportedly announced it would be loosening its dress code in a memo on Tuesday, according to Darren Rovell of ESPN.com, as "players will be allowed to wear more personalized cleats for pre-game prior to warm-ups and will have greater flexibility on cleat color worn during the game." 

Rovell added, "During pregame warm-ups, players can wear any design they want, so long as it doesn't depict commercialized or trademarked logos, other than the league-approved footwear brands (Nike, Under Armour and Adidas). The cleats also can't have anything that would be deemed offensive or express political views."

Players who didn't conform to the previous cleat rules were fined, which led to a slew of fines last year alone. That included wearing cleats that weren't the dominant color as determined by the teams, though players will now be allowed to "solid black, solid white or a secondary team color," per Rovell.

Former Pro Bowler Chad Johnson, who was fined multiple times for his cleat choices, joked on Twitter about the news:

As NFL Philosophy noted, these type of moves will probably only slightly alter the popular designation of the NFL as the "No fun league": 

Also of note is that cleat customization will not include political messaging.

With many believing that Colin Kaepernick remains out of a job due to the political stance he took last season—and Marshawn Lynch sitting during the National Anthem before a preseason game—the relationship between the NFL and players who desire to express themselves politically continues to remain in the forefront of conversations about the league.

That conversation has intersected with cleat customization in the past, and certainly might again.

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