At a time where more of the focus appears to be on whether someone is kneeling or standing during the national anthem, Tennessee Titans LB Avery Williamson decided to stay true to what he believes is important. The first Sunday of pro football happened to fall on one of the most infamous days in United States history, September 11.
Apparently, Avery Williamson did not take its 15th anniversary lightly, opting to wear patriotic red, white, and blue cleats in honor of those who lost their life on 9/11 fifteen years ago, as well as for those who still protect us today. While the NFL has since said they will not fine Williamson for his patriotic act, he wore those cleats under the impression that he would be disciplined.
This is not to say that the young linebacker went without support, though. His head coach, Mike Mularkey, offered to pay whatever fine was levied if Williamson stuck with the cleats, according to Jason Wolf of The Tennessean. He also received support from the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association in regards to the fine.
They released the following statement per The Tennessean:
“On September 11, 2001, the PAPD lost 37 police officers at the World Trade Center, the largest, single loss ever suffered by a police department in the history of American law enforcement,” Egbert wrote. “We read, with understandable interest, your piece on Avery Williamson and the NFL’s stance on Avery honoring the September 11th victims. We, along with the New Jersey State Police Benevolent Association, are offering to pay any reasonable fine levied by the NFL if Avery chooses to wear his 9/11 cleats.”
Williamson has said that he will auction the cleats among other things off for Operation Warrior Wishes. Williamson’s patriotism should remind everyone that some things are bigger than football, and his act to honor individuals that did and still do protect this country should be more common.