There seems to be a trend in the NFL where players cover up the Nike Swoosh on their official team gear.  First, Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, who is sponsored by Adidas, made a bold statement by covering up the Nike swoosh on his warm-up shirt.  Subsequently, New England quarterback Tom Brady, who is sponsored by Under Armour, covered the Nike swoosh on his official team sweatshirt with a piece of tape.  This obviously wouldn’t have been that big of a deal if Nike wasn’t the exclusive outfitter for the NFL.  However, Nike writes a large check to the NFL to be the exclusive outfitter for the league and to have the swoosh visible on player’s gear. While Adidas and Under Armour pay these players, they would not have these endorsements without their jobs in the NFL.  Brady is merely an employee of the league and just as we owe our employers loyalty not to compete against them, he owes the same to his employer.  The NFL knows not to bite the hand that feeds it and I hope these players learn this lesson soon, because Nike is likely to be the official outfitter for the NFL for years to come.

What Does the NFL Rule Book Say?

The NFL Rule Book states that “players are prohibited from wearing, displaying or promoting other licensed equipment unless the identification has been approved by the league office.”  However, according to a recent article, there is “nothing about concealing a logo except during games on official jerseys.”

Brady and Griffin have both covered the Nike swoosh on non-game days but are still feeling the backlash for their actions.  Is this fair?  Do you think Brady will be fined for covering up the ubiquitous Nike swoosh?

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