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NFL Forces Steelers Star Antonio Brown to Remove Ali Cleats Mid-Game

Antonio Brown (@ab Instagram)

Antonio Brown (@ab Instagram)

Pittsburgh Steelers player Antonio Brown found himself in violation of uniform codes again when he paid tribute to Muhammad Ali. The wide receiver donned football cleats covered in the late boxer’s photo and quotes.

Brown shared several shots of the shoes on Twitter, which displayed the Steelers’ official team colors.

“Sunday vibes! Float like a butterfly, sting like AB,” he wrote in the caption. The words play on Ali’s famous quote as well as the footballer’s initials.

However, CBS Sports reported Brown only wore the custom apparel for two drives. A league official warned the footballer he could not continue playing unless he changed into cleats that met uniform standards. Brown then removed his shoes sans complaint.

The shake-up came during the Steelers’ game against the New York Jets Sunday. The Pennsylvania-based home team ultimately won 31-13.

Just a week ago, Yahoo Sports reported Brown donned cleats paying tribute to late golfer Arnold Palmer. Brown had asked for permission to wear the special footgear, which also conformed to the Steelers’ team colors. The league allowed him to wear the cleats for the entire game.

Typically, the NFL issues a fine or warning to players who wear cleats with personal messages. That was the case for Brown at the start of the season.

According to ESPN, the NFLer wore blue cleats featuring his number, 84, as the Steelers played the Washington Redskins Sept. 12. That, combined with Brown’s celebratory dance, earned him a fine of what he said amounted to a “couple hundred” dollars.

Then, during the Steelers’ game against the Philadelphia Eagles Sept. 25, Brown sported blue cleats covered in his children’s faces. He tweeted a photo of the shoes prior to hitting the field.

“The four reasons I lace them up every day,” he wrote.

Brown changed into his normal shoes during the second half after a referee reprimanded him.

NFL guidelines state “foreign substances on body/uniform” means a fine of $9,115 for the first offense. A second offense leads to an $18,231 fine.

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