NFL Fines Colin Kaepernick For Wearing The Wrong Brand Of Headphones

Forced to choose between the pandering of Pinktober and its commitment to its sponsors, the NFL has come down firmly on the side of its corporate overlords. Colin Kaepernick confirmed today that the league fined him $10,000 for wearing the wrong headphones on Sunday.

Sponsorship deals are nothing new—remember when the NFL fined Alex Smith for wearing a San Francisco Giants cap during that team's 2012 championship run?—but the headphone wars are extra interesting because they pit the league's chosen brand against the one that's very visibly and successfully associated itself with individual NFL stars. Kaepernick has chosen his side. So did Richard Sherman, who we presume has also been notified of his fine.

Beats By Dre Banned From The Heads Of NFL Players

Bose is now "the official sound of the NFL," apparently replacing the confused whimpers of retired defensive tackles with CTE. That means that you're not going to see many more pictures like the one above, because players now must wear the NFL's preferred brand of oversized, overpriced headphones at any event having anything to do with the NFL.

Some details, via Recode:

Under terms of its agreement with the league, the NFL confirmed, Bose received a broad set of rights that entitle it to prevent players (or coaches) from wearing any other manufacturer's headphones during televised interviews.

This ban extends to TV interviews conducted during pre-season training camps or practice sessions and on game day — starting before the opening kickoff through the final whistle to post-game interviews conducted in the locker room or on the podium. The restriction remains in place until 90 minutes after the play has ended.

It's zero percent surprising that the NFL's super-protective of their sponsors, brand, and money, and I doubt anyone's going to lose sleep over players being forced to hear their favorite music on their second-favorite brand of headphones. If you're Colin Kapernick or Richard Sherman, though, and you felt like the NFL was messing with your ability to cash some sweet endorsement checks just because they want to cash their own sweet endorsement checks, I wouldn't blame you.

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[Photo credit: AP]

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