NFL players wear 9/11 tributes despite threats of fines

A cleat worn by Mohamed Sanu #12 of the Atlanta Falcons (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

A cleat worn by Mohamed Sanu #12 of the Atlanta Falcons (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

While the NFL ruled at least one 9/11 tribute out of bounds this opening weekend, several players decided to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the September 11 attacks anyways.

Atlanta Falcons receiver Mohamed Sanu and Tennessee Titans linebacker Avery Williams donned special 9/11 commemorative cleats before taking to the field Sunday. According to The Tennessean, Williamson had been informed by the league that he would be fined for a uniform violation if he wore the shoes. Several law enforcement agencies and his fellow officers offered to pay the fines for him, The Tennessean reported.

New York Giants receivers Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz were also expected to wear similar shoes. Other players, including Atlanta’s Julio Jones, already wore similar cleats during warms-ups.

“I don’t want to draw negative attention, so I’m just going to focus on playing the game,” the newspaper quoted Williamson saying.

Williamson’s cleats are painted red, white, and blue and emblazoned with “9-11-01” and “Never Forget” on each shoe. Similarly, Sanu’s cleats are painted red, white and blue, and include an image of the twin towers and a bald eagle. Williamson said he planned to auction his cleats off to benefit Operation Warrior Wishes.