If the shoe fits…

By Samantha Baker

If the shoe fits, wear it.  Especially if you are one of the most watched rookie quarterbacks in the league. And especially if you are getting paid to wear it.  But, if your warm up clothing doesn’t fit into your portfolio of contracts, don’t wear it.

And RG3 did just that.  Before last weekend’s season opener against the New Orleans Saints, RG3 took brand loyalty to his clothing sponsor to the next level.  Before pre-game warm-ups, Griffith was spotted throwing in a Nike-branded Redskins shirt… the catch, the swoosh was blacked out and turned into an over-sized “H” spelling “Heart” down the side of his chest.  Having one of the most stellar debuts by an NFL quarterback that week, Griffith began to turn heads – Nike being one of them.  Red flags were raised once Nike found out about this pre-game act.

 

NFL athletes are allowed to wear clothing or cleats of any brand they endorse, but only if that brand has a deal with the league.  With Nike being in it’s first year of a five year deal, this means players are not allowed to cover up the swoosh in any form while Nike holds the apparel licensing rights.

Although Griffith did not have to pay a fine for this stunt, I am sure league officials have knocked on his door a few times since then.  “It won’t happen again,” McCarthy, NFL spokesman, told ESPN.

But… the knocking was not hard enough and it happened again.  This week RG3 wore a grey compression top in warm-ups that covered up a t-shirt very similar to the one he took a sharpie to last week.  Being the second week this has happened, do you think his actions are meant to inspire athletes who are sponsored by other brands to rally too? Maybe.

Undoubtedly though, his stunt was an effort to conceal a logo that doesn’t pay his bills.  You may ask who does? And that would be Adidas.

So far, Griffith has been one of Adidas’ most popular endorsers from the NFL, given Reggie Bush didn’t quite pan out.  He has trademarked the colorful red and yellow socks and the AdiZero 5-star lightweight cleats, proving he is truly 3-stripe affiliated.   Can you really blame Griffith for going against the grain and standing up for the company that gives him a large check though?  With the league changing the rules in the beginning to allow him to put III on his nameplate, Griffith just wanted to push the envelope a little more and see where it got him.

Obviously I hope this issue doesn’t turn into a bigger one where RG3 losses his focus at the task at hand on the field.  But who knows when you are dealing with the world’s largest sporting apparel brand in the world.

RG3, however, is fully committed to his sponsored brand no matter what outcomes arise between him and Nike.  Griffith has not posted any Instrgam photos of stacks of Jordans or Nike boxes in his room, so I think the truthfulness of his commitment to Adidas is legitimate.

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