To appreciate what a Washington Redskins player had to submit to, let me tell you something: I hate tattoos. I especially loathe them when they are placed on the neck. They offend me.
But a great many—probably an overwhelming majority—of football players don’t care what I think. For some reason they go ahead and proudly display their tattoos.
Even though I don’t see many coaches with as many prominent tattoos, the football players are still allowed to show their tattoos. No one seems to expect them to cover them up during an interview.
But a Jesus t-shirt? That’s a different deal!
From CBS in Washington DC, we read: “Report: RGIII Told By NFL Not To Wear ‘Know Jesus, Know Peace’ Shirt For His Press Conference.”
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III was reportedly told by an NFL uniform inspector not to wear his “Know Jesus, Know Peace” t-shirt before Sunday’s postgame press conference.
Michael Phillips, the Redskins reporter for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, posted on Twitter that Griffin was told he couldn’t wear the t-shirt because it wasn’t a Nike product.
“RGIII was wearing a t-shirt that said ‘Know Jesus, Know Peace.’ NFL Uniform Inspector Tony McGee (former Skins DE) approached Griffin,” Phillips tweeted. “McGee told Griffin he couldn’t wear the shirt because it wasn’t a Nike product. Made him turn it inside out for the press conference.”
But that is ludicrous. Turning the shirt inside out didn’t make it into a Nike product for the interview. The motive here was to get rid of a religious message reflecting the player’s beliefs.
Besides, the rule was only invoked to get rid of the acknowledgment of Jesus.
CSN Washington reports that Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan wore a t-shirt from Five Four Clothing to the podium for the postgame press conference and was not asked to change his shirt.
Of course, when you show what is wrong with one of their explanations, they immediately jump to another one. Wearing a Jesus t-shirt is compared to wearing Adidas rather than Nike during an interview—an offense that got Griffin fined $10,000 in 2012.
So is Nike in competition with Jesus like they are in competition with Adidas?
These excuses don’t seem plausible. It is amazing that a team that has been beaten up so much for having an “offensive” name would practice such intolerant behavior. Many of the team’s defenders have been conservative Christians.
I’m not defending them anymore. But I think it is completely appropriate that they have Washington DC in their name.