By Ashley Scoby
There’s a reason people sarcastically call the NFL the ‘No Fun League,’ and Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford found that out the hard way this week. A few days after his wife posted a screenshot of their conversation insinuating the league might fine him for his cleats, Stafford confirmed Friday that he had indeed received a letter from the league office about the shoes he wore in Monday night’s game in Seattle.READ MORE: Michigan Matters: The Political Road Ahead
The NFL has a uniform policy, and routinely fines players for “uniform violations” which could include wearing a different pair of shoes than his teammates, wearing socks that don’t cover the entire calf, etc. The article in question was a pair of blue cleats that Stafford said he had worn throughout the entire preseason. League officials have a chance to tell the players during pregame warmups if what they’re wearing violates the policy, but Stafford said that no one had said anything to him. Later, he received a letter stating he would be fined around $6,000 for the violation.
Within the NFL rulebook, the section about shoes, under the “Equipment, Uniforms, Player Appearance” section goes on for nearly 400 words, including a specification that “shoelace color conform(s) to the dominant color of the tongue area of the manufacturer’s shoe.” All players on a team also have to wear shoes that are the “same dominant color.” All cleats have to be approved by the league office.
Stafford said that the cleats he wore Monday were the same shoes that Ndamukong Suh and Reggie Bush wore last year. He has asked his agent to appeal the fine.READ MORE: 'My Name Is Sara' Film On Holocaust Survivor Premieres In Metro Detroit
According to the NFL, fines collected from players go to charity and don’t go to fund the league office.
Other items in the “Equipment, Uniforms, Player Appearance” section of the NFL rule book? “Detachable kicking toes” are banned, as are cleats made from aluminum, gloves that aren’t of a solid color or any equipment that has a logo of a company not officially partnered with the NFL.
And another fun fact? As part of the NFL’s “general appearance” rules, on game days, players are prohibited from use of tobacco products in the bench area and – wait for it – “use of facial makeup.”MORE NEWS: Dearborn Homecoming Festival Kicks Off This Weekend