Like most companies, the NFL enforces a strict uniform policy. Going against what the league states is appropriate to wear during games or interviews will not be tolerated. Players who do not adhere to these rules will be penalized, normally in the form of fines.
The NFL increased the fines for violating the league’s uniform policy this offseason. Now fines start at $50,000 for a first time offender and can go up to $100,000. Prior to this change, the cost for a first time offense was $5,250. The $100,000 fine has only been given out one time. Brain Urlacher received this once. It can only be given out when someone wears unauthorized clothing or gear during an interview prior to the Super Bowl or during the Super Bowl itself. Urlacher was given it because he was caught doing an interview prior to the Bears’ Super Bowl matchup against the Indianapolis Colts. He was wearing a hat that had the logo of a sports drink company that was not an official sponsor of the NFL.
The NFL has a number of reasons to implement a uniform policy. First, it makes it easy on officials if players from the same team all are dressed alike. Secondly, the NFL wants to protect its sponsors from players wearing the logos and merchandize of their sponsors' competitors. This could potentially cause the NFL to lose the sponsorship of a certain company. Finally, there are safety concerns. Football is a very physical sport and much of the uniform is worn to decrease a player’s likelihood of injury.
Over the past ten years, the NFL has given out many fines for uniform violations. A couple of these have some great stories behind them. This list ranks the fines in order of least to most expensive. The violations must have been committed on game day. Interviews conducted during the week are not counted. therefore, Urlacher's $100,000 is not going to be listed. Since there have been a number of fines given to first time violators and most players do not repeat the offense, the first timers need to have a great story behind their violation in order to make the list.
10 Chad Johnson Fined $5,000 For "Celebrating" Hispanic Heritage Month
9 Brandon Marshall Fined $5,250 For Green Shoes
8 Brandon Spikes Fined $7,875 For Red Cleats
7 Cam Newton Fined $10,000 For Wearing Under Armour
6 Frank Gore Fined $10,500 For Low Socks
5 Dashon Goldson Combined $15,750 in Uniform Violations
4 Bart Scott Fined $20,000 For Unbuckled Chin Straps
3 Chad Ochocinco Fined $20,000 For Gold Cleats
2 Clinton Portis Fined $20,000 For Various Gear
1 Five Atlanta Falcons Fined A Combined $47,500 For Antics Supporting Michael Vick
Following the imprisonment of quarterback Michael Vick, a few of his Atlanta Falcons teammates wanted to show some support for him. During the game, DeAngelo Hall and Chris Houston taped a poster of Vick on the back of the Falcons’ team bench. Hall and tight end Alge Crumpler were caught on camera wear “MV-7” painted on their eye black. Joe Horn was caught on camera helping Crumpler show off his shirt that said “Free Mike Vick” and proceeded to do his post game interviews in it. All together the players were fined a grand total of $47,500 for their antics. Hall, White, Houston, and Crumpler were each fined $10,000 a piece. Joe Horn only received a $7,500 fine because he was not actually displaying anything himself.
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