With New York and New Jersey law enforcement officers on his side, Tennessee Titans linebacker Avery Williamson ignored a possible fine from the NFL office Sunday and wore special 9/11 tribute shoes during the team’s game with Minnesota. Now, he’s putting those cleats up for auction with proceeds going to Warrior Wishes.
Williamson mentioned plans to wear the cleats last week, which drew the attention of the league. The NFL has strict uniform rules that mandate all shoes bear the same color scheme. After the Nashville Tennesseean reported the threat of a fine and the story went viral, police associations in New York and New Jersey offered to pay any penalty enforced by the league. Williamson’s teammates did the same.
He came out for warm-ups in traditional white Nike cleats, so as not to draw further attention from league officials. However, when the Titans took the field prior to the start of the game with the Vikings, Williamson was wearing the special shoes. They carry the words “Never Forget” and “9/11” on the back with the “11” representing the Twin Towers. Stars and stripes adorn the rest of the shoes with red-and-white Nike swooshes.
In addition to the shoes, the auction also includes a meet-and-greet with Williamson, two VIP tickets to a Titans game, a signed jersey and the opportunity for another autograph.
“I felt like if I didn’t wear them, I just wouldn’t have felt good about it,” Williamson said after the game. ”I felt like I had to do that, just for myself and to represent the people that were lost and the people that do their jobs every day to protect us.”
The auction, conducted through CharityBids.com, runs through September 20.