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Oakley, NFL Agree to 4-Year Contract on Helmet Shields

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 27, 2019

ORLANDO, FL - JANUARY 27: Runningback Alvin Kamara #41 of the New Orleans Saints from the NFC Team runs out for team's introduction with a bag full of Airheads candy in his hands before the start of the NFL Pro Bowl Game at Camping World Stadium on January 27, 2019 in Orlando, Florida. The AFC defeated the NFC 26 to 7. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

The NFL agreed to a four-year deal with Oakley that will see the eyewear company become an official partner of the league, Sports Illustrated's Jonathan Jones reported Monday.

Oakley will provide helmet shields, including the Prizm shield, for players:

Jonathan Jones @jjones9

New at @SInow: Lightly tinted visors will be allowed in the NFL this season after nearly a year-long test run with Oakley https://t.co/H2cWQPEtJ2

Jones wrote the Prizm shield is notable because the NFL had banned tinted helmet visors, adding the accessory has a tangible benefit for players as well:

"The Prizm lens was created with the intention of making the colors on the field pop. The football against the green field and the white hashmarks and sidelines should all stand out more to the player. The lens doesn't take the place of corrective lenses (these are not medicated shields) but it does increase visual acuity."

Starting in 1998, the league prohibited players from using darkened shields unless they had valid medical grounds to be an exception. Colin Kaepernick, for example, told reporters ahead of the 2016 season he was attempting to get approval from the NFL to wear a tinted shield after a doctor recommended him to do so.

Prior to the deal, which will be announced Tuesday, the league let players try the Oakley Prizm shield during the 2019 Pro Bowl to see how it would work during a game.

Jones wrote the NFL received positive responses from players "on how much their vision was enhanced" after adding the shield to their helmets.