The First Amendment is what makes this country what it is; a place where people can voice opinions freely without being thrown into a prison camp or executed.
But is there a time and place where sharing your opinion shouldn’t be allowed?
Should a football player be allowed to sit during the Pledge of Allegiance?
Or how about honoring the victims and fallen heroes of 9/11?
Avery Williamson, linebacker for the Tennessee Titans, wanted to pay his respects to the victims of 9/11 by wearing customized cleats during the game against the Minnesota Vikings.
The cleats contained the same colors as the Titan’s uniform: red, white, black and blue.
The Nike swoosh symbol is striped red and white, with the primary color of the cleat being navy blue with gray stars and red laces.
“Never Forget” and “9-11-01” are also printed on the back of the cleats in bold, white letters and the 11 resembling the twin towers.
After putting the cleats on before the game started, Williamson was informed he couldn’t wear the cleats because they violated the NFL’s dress code.
“Shoes must be of standard football design, including ‘sneaker’ type shoes such as basketball shoes, cross-training shoes, etc,” according to the NFL Rule Book. “League-approved tri-colored shoes are permitted with black, white, and one team color.”
Williamson wasn’t the only NFL player who wanted to wear customized cleats.
New York Giants wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Victor Cruz also wanted to wear customized cleats and did just that, despite the NFL’s $6,076 fine, according to operations.nfl.com, for failure to comply with the dress code.
Williamson was hesitant to wear the cleats after being told about the fine.
But according to The Tennessean newspaper, multiple New York and New Jersey police union associates offered to pay the fine for Williamson, since the organization’s felt fellow police officers they lost on Sept. 11 should be honored on this day.
“It’s always good to honor victims of things like 9/11,” said Meghan Marsden, a Delta student. “I think the NFL should’ve allowed him to wear those cleats; because they let players dress out of dress code for other causes.”
After going through with wearing the customized cleats, the NFL decided not to fine Williamson, Beckham Jr. and Cruz.