Good news, Odell Beckham: NFL reportedly relaxing rules on personalized cleats
However, the relaxed rules would apply only to cleats worn before games
The NFL -- officially the National Football League, but known in some circles as the No Fun League -- isn't merely relaxing its celebration rules during the upcoming season. It's also loosening up its stance on fashion.
Players will be allowed to wear more personalized cleats during warm-ups and will have greater flexibility on cleat color worn during the game, according to a memo sent out by the league on Monday to head coaches and equipment managers and obtained by ESPN.
During pregame warm-ups, players can wear any design they want, so long as it doesn't depict commercialized or trademarked logos, other than the league-approved footwear brands (Nike, Under Armour and Adidas). The cleats also can't have anything that would be deemed offensive or express political views.
So, to be clear, those personalized cleat rules apply only for pregame cleats. As for cleats used during the games, Rovell reported that players will be permitted to wear solid black, solid white or a secondary team color cleats. It's honestly amazing they didn't allow for that before, but here we are. The NFL is finally realizing that it could be fun to let players be themselves. Last year, the NFL allowed players to wear customized cleats during one week only.
This might seem like a minor rule change for fans, because it won't affect the game at all, but for some players -- cough cough Odell Beckham Jr. cough cough -- it'll be a huge deal. Specifically, it'll be a huge help on their wallets.
Remember what happened to Beckham last season? He wore cleats that paid tribute to Craig Sager and according to Beckham, he was fined $18,000 for doing so. Rovell reported that Beckham wouldn't have been fined under the new rules.
There's also this: Beckham recently signed the most lucrative shoe deal in NFL history. Included in that shoe deal? A signature cleat. The point being, if there's anyone who stands to benefit the most from this development, it's probably Beckham.
This is the second time this offseason the NFL has loosened its rules. In May, the league revamped its rules to allow more creative celebrations, though like the rule change relating to cleats, there are a few exceptions:
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