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The T-shirt Robert Griffin III wore for his pregame warm-up on Monday said "Operation Patience," a tongue-in-cheek joke about the Redskins' slowly bringing him back to game action off his ACL injury. It was funny after a controversy-filled week. The T-shirt seemed pretty nice too, maybe a nice breathable cotton.
But most likely, that T-shirt wasn't worth the $10,000 the NFL is making Griffin pay for it.
The NFL doesn't like anyone wearing anything that doesn't adhere to their uniform policies. Anything that isn't from an official apparel supplier is a particular no-no.
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So, when one of the league's biggest stars went through a pre-game workout that probably was just as anticipated as the Redskins' game later against the Steelers wearing something that wasn't NFL approved, the league hit him with a fine that could pay for about a couple thousand or so of those T-shirts.
The Washington Post reported that Griffin was fined $10,000 by the NFL for an apparel violation, and the only reasonable conclusion is it was for the "Operation Patience" shirt. It isn't Griffin's first run-in with the uniform police. The NFL fined him $10,000 last year for wearing Adidas gear during a postgame press conference. The league wasn't too pleased before that when he made some modifications to his Nike gear before a game. Nike pays a lot of money to be the NFL's apparel provider, and the league protects its partners.
So while fining someone $10,000 for not wearing the right T-shirt seems ridiculous, it's not really that surprising. The NFL does this all the time. Almost enough to make Griffin lose some patience.