By Danny Cox
Robert Griffin III made some big noise in his NFL debut with the Washington Redskins as he helped run over the New Orleans Saints 40-32 on Sunday. His performance far outshined those of all the other rookie quarterbacks, but now he is in the spotlight for something else.
Nike is now the official apparel outfitter for the NFL, and they have even brought about some technologically advanced new uniforms this year as well. Of course, Nike has their logo where everyone can see it, because they are proud of the sports giant that they are affiliated with.
RG3 on the other hand, has a big-time money deal with Nike competitor, adidas. Nike is in the first of a five-year deal with the NFL.
Before Sunday’s game with the Saints, Griffin wrote the word “Heart” on his undershirt. Many look at this as just a message to all that he has a lot of heart, and perhaps it was written there to inspire as many people as possible.
A lot of others, including the NFL, believe that he wrote the word in order to conceal something. That “something” happens to be the Nike logo.
The “H” in the word was drawn incredibly wide and obviously done so that it would cover the Nike logo on his uniform. This little ploy by the second overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft did not go unnoticed.
Athletes in the NFL are allowed to wear the logos of any brands of shoes that they endorse — that is, as long as those brands also have deals with the league. But they are not allowed to cover up the Nike swoosh logo in any way, shape, or form.
NFL officials are planning on speaking to Griffin about what happened with his uniform on Sunday, but it is unlikely that he will be fined in any way. The shirt with “Heart” written on it was only visible before the game during warm-ups.
Still, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy advised ESPN that Griffin will be spoken to about what he did. The league is not looking to upset their uniform dealer by having one of their premiere rookies do such things.
“It won’t happen again,” McCarthy said.
Many players have gone against uniform codes in the NFL in the past, and some have been fined for it. Others have been fined time-and-time again because they simply kept refusing to cooperate with the NFL on how they wanted things to be done.
All professional sports leagues have some type of dress or uniform code, and the players are required to adhere to it. The NBA had similar problems a few years ago when a number of athletes started wearing the long stockings on their legs, which is against the rules.
Griffin likely won’t pull the same stunt again. Well, at least not this season while he is still new to everything. If he continues to play like he did against the Saints, you can be sure that he will be making enough of a name for himself to get noticed.
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Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. His work can be found on Examiner.com.