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#pounditMonday, December 11, 2023

A.J. Brown upset with NFL over 1 rule

AJ Brown during warmups

Jan 29, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver A.J. Brown (11) on the field during warmups against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver A.J. Brown was forced to change his cleats this past Monday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers due to an NFL rule that he’s now asking players to push back against.

Brown began the night wearing “highlight green” cleats, which stayed on his feet over the first two offensive series, but then curiously switched to black cleats.

As it turns out, there wasn’t a functional reason for the change. Rather, Green was advised by Eagles equipment manager Greg Delimitros to swap his cleats or be taken out of the game.

Not only did Brown avoid a benching by switching his cleats, he also avoided a $7,000 fine from the NFL over a uniform violation.

“Yeah, that rule sucks,” Brown said, via ESPN. “I really tried to bend the rules a little bit, but I think all players should just wear whatever they want to wear. They’re not going to be able to fine everybody in the league. So I think we should start that movement as players.”

The NFL allows players to wear white, black or team colored cleats during the game with one sole exception: “My Cause, My Cleats” week where players are permitted to wear customized cleats supporting a cause or movement of their choice. Violating the rule leads to the aforementioned $7,000 fine for a first-time offender. Each subsequent violating results in a lager fine.

Brown was especially annoyed with being forced to change his cleats because he wore them for his daughter. She finds it easier to identify him on the field when his cleats stand out.

“She got mad at me: ‘Why did I change the cleats?'” Brown said. “She’ll have to be OK. I’m not trying to come out [of the game].”

The NFL will never bend on this rule but it would be interesting to see how they’d handle a well-orchestrated pushback led by Brown.

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