It looks like we have our first victim of the NFL's Beats by Dre headphones ban.
The NFL has fined San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick $10,000 for donning a pair of pink Beats headphones at his post-game press conference on Sunday.
— Paul Gutierrez (@PGutierrezESPN) October 6, 2014
Why the fine? Well, the NFL recently partnered up with Bose for a sponsorship deal. On the heels os that, the league banned players from wearing Beats by Dre (and other branded) headphones on the field before the opening kickoff through the end of the game. Players are also banned from sporting Beats during TV interviews, press conferences, and locker room interviews conducted within a 90-minute window following the conclusion of the game.
In a statement, the NFL made a point to discuss broad league policies against "branded exposure", instead of focusing on the Beats sponsorship deal.
"The NFL has longstanding policies that prohibit branded exposure on-field or during interviews unless authorized by the league. These policies date back to the early 1990s and continue today. They are the NFL’s policies – not one of the league’s sponsors, Bose in this case. Bose is not involved in the enforcement of our policies."
Kaepernick has had a deal with Beats for some time now. You may remember that commercial that played every single second of every single day. Also, Beats and Kaepernick have a healthy social media partnership.
— Beats By Dre (@beatsbydre) October 6, 2014
A $10,000 fine is unlikely to discourage Kaepernick, or anyone else for the matter, from wearing brands that are paying them big bucks to do so. It's not like Kaepernick is going to have to pay the fine himself or anything.
Image via Paul Gutierrez, Twitter