For the high crime of wearing fantastic-looking shoes, Chicago Bears wide receiver Earl Bennett will have to pay the NFL $5,000.
The cleats were a violation of the NFL's uniform policy. Rules state that a team must choose a "dominant color" (black or white) for shoes prior to July 1. So even though Bennett's orange shoes nicely match the outside strip of his pants, the interior stripe of his socks and the "C" on his helmet, they were deemed illegal and subject to a fine from Draco Roger Goodell.
Bennett told ESPN 1000 in Chicago that he was warned by teammates that the shoes might bring a fine but wore them anyway. "I haven't played in a while," he said, "so I might as well just take this one."
The fourth-year veteran from Vanderbilt is still on his rookie contract, which will pay him $550,000 this season. Figuring how much gets taken out for taxes, and $5,000 isn't exactly couch-cushion change.
Bennett seems to realize this and says he doesn't plan to break out the bright kicks again. "They say they will double the fine, so it would be 10 grand," Bennett said. "And I don't think my wife would like that."
Smart man. Smart man with awesome-looking shoes.
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