Some of the fines and penalties the NFL imposes on the players make sense. Protecting player safety is admirable, but that’s not nearly where the extent of their monetary related punitive measures ends. In years past, when players have been given fines for uniform infractions, I understand it. The NFL is a business, and during a game, if there are certain styles that the team is wearing, everyone should have the same articles of clothing. Sean Taylor and Clinton Portis were fined $5,000 for wearing the wrong socks during a game. Given all the tape players wear, and gloves, and helmet options, it seems a bit silly to fine a guy for socks, but it was an infraction that could be spotted during the game, so I understand it.

The recent fine against Robert Griffin III is a fine that I don’t understand. He got a $10,000 fine for the infraction of wearing an unauthorized tshirt… one that didn’t contain anything obscene.


“Operation Patience”.

Is he sending a message to his fans, who want to see him back in the game? Is he referring to the fact that he’s having to work on his patience because the coaches aren’t granting his wish to be back on the field? It’s likely those are the reasons, neither of which is inflammatory towards anyone.

Mind you, RGIII hasn’t played in the pre-season yet, and it’s very likely that he won’t. The most he has done is take some reps on the field before the game, not suited up, just tossing the ball with members of the Redskins organization. Notice, I said “members of the Redskins organization”. That’s because before games, it’s not just players and coaches who are on the field. Team assistants are out there, some of them just high school students who know the coaches or college interns.

So why the fine? Is it because it wasn’t produced by one of the NFL’s sponsors? It wouldn’t be the first time, as RGIII previously got hit with a fine for wearing ADIDAS attire, which is clearly not Reebok nor Nike, the last two companies authorized to create licensed NFL apparel. It’s not that he wore it into the game, nor was there any potential that would’ve happened. If they didn’t want him wearing an unauthorized  tshirt in a game in the future, they could’ve sent a warning through the team.

Instead, they choose to yet again take away from a game which needs high profile personalities. Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees are all getting towards the end of their respective primes. Chad Johnson is out of the league, along with Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Michael Strahan, Donovan McNabb, Ray Lewis and most other of the marketable options the league has grown by promoting.

End zone celebrations. Pre-game tshirts. What’s next?