Carolina Panthers cornerback Josh Norman was fined $5,000 for a uniform violation committed during last Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers (which was part of the league's Salute to Service week), according to ESPN. Norman wore red, white and blue cleats that did not match Carolina's color scheme for the game.
Norman, per ESPN, said the league told him the fine had more to do with having the words "proud, brave" written on the side of the cleats than the fact that they did not conform to the team's color sheme.
Norman is appealing the fine ("We're appealing it. I appeal everything, doesn't matter what it is," he said) and is also giving the cleats, now donning his autograph, to the USO of North and South Carolina, for auction. Norman is from South Carolina and plans to donate any funds raised through the auction to help the base Fort Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina, per ESPN's report. "Just give that back to them and give them hope and let them know we care about them and love them as well," he said.
Nice job by Norman spinning his uniform violation into a good cause. He's another in a line of players doing this kind of thing this season, following in the footsteps of DeAngelo Williams, Cameron Hayward and William Gay of the Steelers, among others.
Given the number of players being fined for uniform violations during weeks where the NFL is specifically raising awareness for certain causes, and they are attempting to do the same with additional accouterments or messages, it seems like this may become an issue between the league and the players association at some point.