Bit by bit, the NFL is loosening up and allowing players to express themselves. In May, the league relaxed its touchdown celebration rules to allow using the ball as a prop and celebrating on the ground. Now, the NFL will give players more flexibility regarding personalized cleats, according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell.
Players can now wear any cleats they want during warmups, with a few restrictions. Footwear cannot depict any commercialized or trademarked logos, save for the Nike, Under Armour and Adidas. After all the Colin Kaepernick hubbub, it’s not surprising the league wants to distance itself from controversy by forbidding any offensive or political material.
Previous rules prohibited players from wearing cleats that were not team colors. Last season, we saw several players get into trouble for wearing cleats that didn’t conform to NFL standards. Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown was asked to change his cleats at halftime one week, among a number of shoe-related controversies. Odell Beckham Jr. was fined $18,000 for wearing cleats dedicated to the late broadcaster Craig Sager. The new rules would allow Beckham to wear those cleats, according to Rovell.
Customized cleats never hurt anyone, as long as they stay away from offensive material. It’s good to see the NFL finally lightening up.