RGIII (aka Robert Griffin III), the quarterback for the Redskins, was wearing a “Know Jesus, Know Peace” t-shirt before a press conference when an NFL rep said that was not allowed. So RGIII, to avoid a fine and a conflict, turned it inside out.
When I first heard this story, I assumed some kind of Christian persecution was going on. But it turns out this is just standard NFL policy. RGIII has been fined before for wearing an Adidas shirt (since he has a Nike sponsorship, I’m presuming). Apparently, all the players have to have their t-shirts preapproved by the NFL:
According to NFL bylaws, players are prohibited from wearing clothing with personal messages on game-days.
“Throughout the period on game-day that a player is visible to the stadium and television audience (including in pregame warm-ups, in the bench area, and during postgame interviews in the locker room or on the field), players are prohibited from wearing, displaying, or otherwise conveying personal messages either in writing or illustration, unless such message has been approved in advance by the League office.”
This message is apparently not pre-approved by the NFL. Other, less peaceful, messages apparently are approved by the NFL … at least implicitly. For instance, the NFL stance on domestic violence has been heavily criticized recently because of a string of domestic violence incidents that have either been handled softly or hidden by NFL reps.
Recent information indicates that the NFL had access to the video of Ray Rice knocking his girlfriend out in an elevator, months before TMZ broke the story. Adrian Peterson is under investigation for beating various children from his different starter families.
And the NFL has been trying to navigate this thuggery with the least impact on its stars’ playing time—and the NFL’s bottom line. But a large amount of people are sick of it. A recent (photoshopped) Cover Girl ad—“Get Your Game Face On”—stormed social media recently, highlighting the rising number of people who want the NFL to start dealing with its players’ off-the-field violence more decisively:
So in the midst of all that, perhaps the peaceful Christian message RGIII wore inside out is exactly what the NFL needs to start promoting. I wouldn’t hold your breath on that one, though.