Titans' Avery Williamson Wears 9/11 Tribute Cleats Despite NFL Fine Threat

Williamson decided he will auction them off to benefit Operation Warrior Wishes

The NFL has already ruled at least one 9/11 tribute out of bounds on opening weekend.

Tennessee Titans linebacker Avery Williamson wore a pair of custom cleats to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks during the home opener against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, despite being told by the league to shelve them.

Williamson was informed by the league he would be fined for a uniform violation if he wore the shoes. He initially changed his plans and announced that he'd auction them off for charity instead.

"I don't want to draw negative attention, so I'm just going to focus on playing the game," Williamson told the Tennessean on Friday. "Once I heard from them, I didn't even try to argue anything. I just left it alone."

But on Saturday, several New York and New Jersey police associations offered to pay the fine levied by the NFL against Williamson if he wore the red, white, and blue cleats and emblazoned with "9-11-01" and "Never Forget" on each shoe.

Williams came out of the tunnel Sunday wearing the patriotic cleats.

New York Giants receivers Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz are expected to wear similar shoes. Other players, including Atlanta's Julio Jones, already wore similar cleats during warms-ups.

Williamson will auction the cleats off along with a meet and great, two VIP tickets to a Titans home game and an autographed #54 jersey to benefit Operation Warrior Wishes. 

"I have a cousin in the Navy and many people in my life that serve this country. These cleats and this auction are a way to show honor," Williamson said in a press release announcing the auction.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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