Hat controversies — in sports

As silly as it may sound, something as trivial as a hat can trigger a storm of controversy. A hat is just a hat, but to a diehard fan, wearing the wrong one can be a sign of disrespect. This collection of photos also reveals that hats can be politically incorrect and even break hallowed traditions. We’ve scoured the internet and found some of the most memorable controversies caused by wearing the wrong headgear.

49ers player Colin Kaepernick

49ers player Colin Kaepernick was photographed wearing a Dolphins hat over the Fourth of July weekend. Angry fans did not think this was appropriate. Kaepernick responded via Instagram with the following post:

Kaepernick7 : "This the hat y'all mad at? I'm goin wear what I want regardless of what you think, all you need to worry about is the fact that I grind for my teammates and the 49ers! I plan on doin this until they won't let me in the building! #ridiculous#y'allmustbebored"

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith throws out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 1 of the National League Division Series at AT&T Park on Saturday, October 6, 2012, in San Francisco, California. (Jose Luis Villegas/Sacramento Bee/MCT via Getty Images)

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith was urged by the NFL to stop wearing a San Francisco Giants hat during postgame interviews because it breached their agreement with New Era to only wear NFL hats. A threat of a $15,000 was issued by the NFL to Smith if he did not comply, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Chicago Cubs v New York Mets

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Jose Reyes #7 of the New York Mets wears a NYPD cap during batting practice before the game against the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field on September 11, 2011 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 04: CC Sabathia and Carsten Charles III Sabathia attend the Chicago Bulls Vs Brooklyn Nets Playoff Game at the Barclays Center on May 4, 2013 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)

Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia wearing a Brooklyn Dodgers hat.

The Braves' new batting practice cap for 2013 (Uni Watch)

Chargers receiver Keenan Allen didn't make a smart hat decision. (Lobshots.com)

Chargers receiver Keenan Allen wearing a Raiders hat. (Lobshots.com)

NAPLES, FL - DECEMBER 10: PGA player Rickie Fowler poses for a portrait at the Tiburon Golf Club on December 10, 2010 in Naples, Florida. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Rickie Fowler

A young Rickie Fowler wore his hat backwards during a Masters press conference at Augusta National, a golf course heavy in tradition. He was asked by an official to turn it around.

Kevin Durant in a Bulls hat and a Supersonics hat.

Clinton Portis wears a Phillies hat during an interview.

Tom Brady wears a Yankees hat

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