NFL fines Alvin Kamara for Christmas cleats, cedes holiday to NBA in the process

Shutdown Corner


<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nfl/players/30180/" data-ylk="slk:Alvin Kamara">Alvin Kamara</a>, seen here wearing his custom Christmas cleats on Sunday against the Falcons. (AP)
Alvin Kamara, seen here wearing his custom Christmas cleats on Sunday against the Falcons. (AP)

With Christmas Eve falling on a Sunday this year, the NFL was gifted a rare foray directly into holiday sports turf long-owned by the NBA.

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New Orleans rookie running back sensation Alvin Kamara got into the spirit, rocking these bright red jingle-belled beauties for the Saints in their Sunday win over the Atlanta Falcons.

Kamara, aware of the NFL’s stringent uniform policy that generally results in fines for custom kicks not worn on a designated day, told reporters on Sunday that he anticipated a bill from the NFL.

Well, he got that bill on Thursday to the tune of $6,079.

Was it worth it?

“Yeah it was worth it,” Kamara told reporters on Thursday. “The Grinch stole Christmas.”

Kamara said he was serious about a plan to start a GoFundMe campaign around the fine with the intent to raise money for charity, but he didn’t have much of a plan in place when talking about it.

Regardless of the success of any charitable efforts, Kamara has raised awareness on one issue. The NBA, as is the case with many other issues of progress, is miles ahead of the NFL on uniform policy.

It doesn’t take long watching games or Twitter on Christmas day to see how much the NBA embraces its players celebrating their own style with their sneakers. Even when it comes at the expense of trolling their opponents.

Draymond wasn’t the only one with special shoes on Christmas. A quick stroll of social media saw almost all of the league’s top players sporting festive shoes, LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Karl Anthony-Towns included.

It’s a goldmine of exposure. Twitter loves this stuff. It benefits the league, the players and the shoe companies they’re representing. Sneaker heads and basketball fans love to see who’s got the most outrageous and stylish shoes for the holiday.

It’s a win-win-win-win. There’s no loser here. It’s a no-brainer.

It’s also not exclusive to Christmas. Players are constantly sporting new shoe designs throughout the season. And whenever they do, social media and shoe blogs are on top of it.

Meanwhile, the NFL sticks to its guns of keeping uniforms, well, uniform, citing policy that suffocates any hint of individuality or risk. It tries to get in the game once or twice a season with special cleat weeks, but shows its true colors in cases like this the majority of the time.

The league seems content with remaining the old man behind the desk parsing rules and catering to what it deems a conservative fan base, bemoaning its falling ratings along the way.

That’s surely fine by the NBA, which continues to count its social media exposure and rising popularity on the way to the bank.

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