For a league still trying to put several ugly domestic violence incidents behind it, what the NFL just did to one player is, at best, a case of bad optics. A defensive back for the Pittsburgh Steelers had the subtle, on-field tribute to his late mother marred by a fine levied against him for a uniform code violation. With October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month, William Gay, a Steelers cornerback, wore purple cleats during Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs. It was a subtle tribute to his late mother. When Gay was 7 years old, his stepfather fatally shot his mother. Domestic Violence Awareness is represented by the color purple. The harmless nod to the cause and the tribute to his mother will cost him $5,787. In the past, Gay has lobbied the league to relax its stringent on-field dress code so players can support causes they believe in — a reasonable request, to say the least. News photos from previous games this month show Gay wearing purple shoes against at least two other teams, showing how subtle the uniform infraction is.
Read the full story at NBC Sports.