It seems like you can be fined for just about anything now days in the NFL, and Alex Smith has learned that the hard way.
He was recently fined $15,000 for wearing a San Francisco Giants ballcap after Sunday night’s win against the Lions. The NFL realized that is likely a bad PR move after realizing he’s been wearing the hat for two years now, so they pulled the fine and warned him that if he continued to do it – he’d get a fine for every day he donned the MLB brand logo.
Smith used to wear a San Diego Padres cap, but switched it over to a Giants cap when he realized it brought him good luck and he’s worn it every week since the beginning of last season. Deadspin writes that the reason the NFL is getting on his case is because the Giants cap is non-sponsored gear of a competing league, and as such is off-limits during the 90 minutes after each game. (Note that this doesn’t apply to regular, non-sports clothing.)
What a joke. I understand that the MLB is a “competitor” but why bring this up now, a year and two weeks into him wearing it? Last season a similar situation was presented to Wes Welker of the Patriots when he wore an unauthorized hat during a week 17 post-game interview in which he responded “Thanks for warning me the other 16 weeks I wore the hat.”
Smith says it’s weird that they’ll fine him for that, but not anything else as long as it’s not a competing brand. “So it’s weird,” Smith said. “I could wear a Polo shirt after the game and they’re not going to fine me.”