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Steelers CB Gay, RB Williams fined for tributes

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Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback William Gay has been fined by the NFL for wearing purple shoes in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Gay’s mother was shot and killed by his stepfather in an act of domestic violence when Gay was 7 years old. Gay was fined $5,787 because the purple cleats violate the NFL’s uniform code.

Gay is the third Steelers player to run into conflict with the NFL’s uniform policies this season.

Running back DeAngelo Williams was fined $5,787 for printing “We will find a cure” and the breast cancer ribbon on his eye black. Williams was told by the league that he could not wear pink after October to honor breast cancer victims.

Defensive end Cameron Heyward was fined recently for writing messages on his eye black to honor his late father, Craig “Ironhead” Heyward, who died of cancer.

Gay has appeared in a public service announcement shown during NFL games raising awareness for domestic violence. Gay plans to ask the NFL to ease uniform restrictions for one weekend so players can support causes of their choice, according to NFL.com.

Williams wanted to wear pink in his uniform all year to honor his mother, Sandra Hill, who died of breast cancer last year at the age of 53. But the NFL denied Williams’ request, even though the league has designated October as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month to honor the fight against cancer when teams can wear pink on their uniforms.

Heyward and the NFL reached a settlement last week on fines for putting “IRON” and “HEAD” on his eye black as a tribute to his late father. Heyward said he would no longer put the words on his eye black. Heyward faced an $11,576 fine for a second violation of the rules.

Craig Heyward died at the age of 39 in 2006 after a seven-year battle with a recurring brain tumor. The former fullback played parts of 11 seasons in the NFL from 1988 to 1998.

Players are permitted to use eye black to reduce glare from sunlight or bright stadium lights, but the NFL’s uniform policy is against “personal messages.”


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