DeAngelo Williams has donned "Find the Cure" eye black for five seasons, but wearing it in Week 7 earned him a fine for the first time in his career, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.
The Pittsburgh Steelers running back reportedly received a $5,787 fine from the NFL for wearing the eye black against the Kansas City Chiefs. The exact message was "We will find a cure" printed on the eye black, along with a pink ribbon, according to Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL Network.
Another Steelers player, William Gay, was fined $5,787 as well for wearing purple cleats to bring attention to domestic violence, according to Kinkhabwala. Gay's mother was killed in an act of domestic violence and he has worn purple cleats in each of the last two years to raise awareness, but received his first fine in 2015. Just last year, NFL.com ran a feature on his purple cleats and the cornerback is featured in the NFL's domestic violence program.
Gay seems to have no problem with the fine, though. He told Kinkhabwala, "I broke the rule," and hopes the fine will be donated to a domestic violence cause. He likely won't get that wish, though. League fines go to assist former players in need through the NFL Player Care Foundation and the NFLPA's Player Assistance Trust.
Williams has had several members of his family affected by cancer, including his mother who died of breast cancer in 2010, and was previously told by the NFL that he couldn't wear pink throughout the season.
Williams' teammate, Cameron Heyward, drew attention for a fine he received a few weeks ago for wearing eye black to honor his father, Craig "Iron Head" Heyward, who died of bone cancer in 2006. While he elected to wear "Iron Head" eye black for a second week after receiving the fine, he agreed to stop wearing the eye black after a discussion with the NFL.
Instead, Heyward wore eye black in Week 7 that read "Tackle Cancer" because it was made available to players by the NFL, according to Fowler.
To recap: Heyward was not fined because the NFL designated "Tackle Cancer" eye black as the league's official cancer awareness message. Williams was fined because "Find the Cure" wasn't the league's message.
Meanwhile, Greg Hardy could be closing in on an extension with the Dallas Cowboys despite showing zero remorse for a domestic violence incident in his past and a pattern of screwing up that looks like it has no sign of stopping any time soon. The league's dumb fines for players making positive messages come in the same week that Hardy went on a rampage on the sideline, slapping a clipboard out of a coach's hands.
Priorities and common sense have been areas that the NFL has struggled in and making sure that its players wear the right colors at the right time is evidently more important than just allowing them to be good people.