Titans linebacker Avery Williamson showed his patriotism on Sunday by wearing cleats to honor of the people who lost their lives in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. For almost anybody else, that wouldn’t have been a bold or outrageous thing to do, but as an NFL player, Williamson faces a fine for violating the league’s uniform policy.
Although Williamson’s head coach seems like he would be willing to pay that. Not only did Mike Mularkey tell the third-year player to go ahead and wear the cleats, he’s now telling reporters he intends to “take care of” any fine that might be levied by the NFL, according to Jason Wolf for The Tennessean.
What that means exactly remains to be seen. The fine will be taken directly out of Williamson’s paycheck, and the league will not allow Mularkey to intervene in any way. I suppose he could make a charitable donation in his player’s name or cut him a check in a closed room somewhere, but there’s not much Mularkey can really do here.
Mularkey isn’t even first in line to pay the fine. Wolf notes that several teammates offered to pay the fine, as did four separate police unions from New York and New Jersey.
As nice as it is to see people coming to Williamson’s aid here, an NFL player probably shouldn’t need everybody to take up a collection for him. He knew what the consequences could be for violating the uniform policy and did it anyway.
Of course, the NFL could do the right thing here and overlook Williamson’s tribute. Which is probably why a fine is on its way.