Tennessee Titans linebacker Avery Williamson planned to wear commemorative cleats on Sunday during the Titans’ season opener to honor the 15-year anniversary of the September 11 attacks. Considering Giants receivers Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz are expected to do the same, it would seem like Williamson’s gesture would be welcomed by the NFL, but that is apparently not the case.
Per the Tennessean, an NFL representative called Williamson when it heard about his plans and informed him that he would be fined for a uniform violation 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 said Friday, per 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.”
Williamson’s cleats were to be painted red, white, and blue and emblazoned with “9-11-01” and “Never Forget” on each shoe. Rather than wearing the cleats on Sunday, Williamson will auction them off to benefit Operation Warrior Wishes, whose mission “is to honor heroes,Keep legacies alive & provide once in a lifetime experiences to warriors from the Battlefields to the Ballfields,” per its official web site.
Williamson will also bring two veterans to Sunday’s game. “I feel like just reaching out to people, helping them, somebody that’s served our country, I feel like that’s a great honor, so I wanted to do something nice for them.,” he said. “I feel like it’s a great cause.”
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / NFL tells Titans linebacker not to wear commemorative 9/11 cleats