I am not sure the NFL would have even known that William Gay was wearing Purple cleats for Domestic Violence until his teammate told reporters he would pay any fine the league imposed on Gay for his uniform violation according to ESPN.
He wore the cleats in the Steelers’ Week 7 win over the Texans on “Monday Night Football” and pulled them out this past Sunday for Pittsburgh’s thrashing of the Colts. Gay was playing in his 120th consecutive game — the longest such active streak for an NFL defensive back — but his 33-yard pick-six of Andrew Luck was what brought the spotlight to his purple footwear. Afterward, fellow cornerback Ike Taylor told reporters he’d pay any fine the league imposed on Gay for a uniform violation, because Gay’s message was one worth highlighting. (According to a league spokesperson, a first offense for a uniform violation usually nets a $5,512 fine.)
After the black eye the NFL has had for the Ray Rice domestic violence the NFL should not even fine Gay. Gay is bringing up a very valid point. The NFL does need to have purple and pink month.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and purple is the flag-coloring hue used to promote domestic violence awareness. It has now been some two decades since Gay’s mother was shot and killed by her husband, making her a victim of the all-too-often-quieted kind of violence.
“I’m not trying to be a bad teammate or embarrass the owners,” Gay said Thursday. “There’s so much pink — on shoes, on gloves — for breast cancer awareness; I think domestic violence awareness is just as important.”
I support William Gay as well, and I hope he continues to wear the Purple Shoes.