Rob Carr/Getty Images

Steelers receiver Antonio Brown has long been one of the few NFL players willing to thumb his nose (or butt, rather) at the NFL’s joy-killing rules against self expression. It seems like the league has finally had enough of Brown daring to have a good time while playing football, though, as he claims referees threatened to kick him out of Sunday’s game against the Eagles if he didn’t change his shoes.


Brown began the game wearing a pair of baby blue shoes with his children’s faces emblazoned on them:

He wore a similar pair of shoes during Pittsburgh’s Week 1 game against Washington, and was fined by the NFL for violating league uniform guidelines. Brown brushed off that fine, as well as the one he received for twerking in the end zone, and once again seemed prepared to pay the price for wearing custom shoes against the Eagles.


Until, that is, the referees told Brown he would not be allowed to play in the second half of the game unless he changed his shoes. Mark Kaboly of first reported that the refs issued an ultimatum to Brown, and the receiver today confirmed that he was indeed threatened with an ejection:

Brown played the second half in a pair of league-approved black and white shoes. When Roger Goodell heard the news, he probably treated himself to an extra glass of room-temperature tap water in celebration of removing some happiness from the world.