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In recent years, the NFL has become more lenient in its regulations for player footwear.
At present, the regulations dictate that cleats can be black, white, or a team’s designated color. The sole exemption to this rule is the NFL’s Crucial Catch campaign, which permits players to wear personalized rainbow attire during weeks four to six of the football season to raise awareness for cancer research as a whole, instead of just breast cancer.
On October 15, during the game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Jets, Eagles’ wide receiver AJ Brown was spotted wearing pink cleats. This week, Brown was the sole player to utilize this regulation and caught the attention of viewers.
Specifically, Wyatt, the daughter of Jason Kelce, was amazed by them. During an episode of the New Heights with Jason and Travis Kelce podcast, Travis playfully remarked, “We saw a video of Kylie showing Wyatt watching the Eagles game and she couldn’t take her eyes off those pink shoes.”
Jason clarified that each time the person was shown, the girl would exclaim, “Pink shoes! Pink shoes!” and that other adults were also thinking the same thing but refrained from saying it on camera.
Jason and Travis Kelce both thought that Brown was wearing bright pink shoes to show his support for breast cancer awareness month, but the reason behind his choice of shoes was something else.
During a recent conversation with the Philadelphia Inquirer, Brown clarified that he wears certain shoes in order for his children to easily recognize him while watching him play on television. He shared, “My daughter does the exact same thing and always notices my shoes, but that video was just adorable.” Brown was referring to a video of his daughter Wyatt constantly commenting on his shoes. The professional athlete has a three-year-old daughter named Jersee and a 12-month-old son named AJ Jr. with his partner Kelsey Riley.
In the third week of the football season, Brown attempted to replicate his previous actions by wearing bright green cleats during the Eagles’ game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He did so in order for his daughter to easily spot him on the field. However, the shade of green he chose was not deemed acceptable and he was instructed by equipment manager Greg Delimitros to remove them during halftime or risk being taken out of the game.
If Brown had not removed the shoes, he would have been charged a penalty of $7,100 for not following the designated regulations. According to ESPN, he referred to the fine as “absurd.” He stated, “It is what it is. That is not a fight I will engage in.”
His daughter noticed the shoe switch and confronted Brown about it. According to ESPN, Brown shared, “She was upset with me for changing my cleats.” He added, “She’ll have to understand. I’m not attempting to leave the game.”
He expressed his dislike for the NFL’s footwear regulations, stating, “That rule is terrible.” Brown also shared that he attempted to push the boundaries of the rule, but believes that players should have the freedom to wear whatever they choose. He suggests starting a movement among players to challenge the rule.