Detroit Lions wide receiver Golden Tate donned a pair of special cleats for yesterday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals, honoring the first responders who took action 16 years ago today during the worst terrorist attack on American soil.
Tate’s cleats read, “Land of the free because of the brave,” and featured imagery of the Twin Towers, as well as the iconic photo of firefighters raising the American flag at Ground Zero.
He posted an image of the cleats prior to game time accompanied by the caption: “9/11 first responders. Real life Super Hero’s. Thank you for your sacrifice! #NeverForget.”
The NFL, which normally enforces a strict uniform dress policy, had to pull the reins back a bit on the 10-year anniversary of 9/11, when six-time Pro Bowl linebacker for the Chicago Bears, Lance Briggs, wore gloves and shoes to commemorate the tragic day.
Briggs’s specially designed gear that year can be seen below …
“Reebok great job on these gloves and shoes..looks like I’m getting fined this week. Lol!” Briggs wrote.
But he wasn’t fined that year, as the NFL lifted its uniform rules for that day.
The former Chicago Bear issued a statement, thanking the league for finally doing what was right and lifting the ban on 9/11 commemorative gear.
“Thank you to the NFL for letting us go out on Sunday and honor those lives that were lost in 9-11, the servicemen who have lost their lives to protect our country and those soldiers who continue to do so,” Briggs said.
As for Tate, he contributed big league to his team’s win on Sunday, catching 10 balls for 107 yards as the Lions defeated the Cardinals 35-23 in the season opener.
During the off-season, Tate blasted President Trump for his response to violence in Charlottesville.
“I feel like a whole lot of Americans feel like they’ve been tricked,” he said. “But at the same time, what is the leader of our country doing that he wasn’t already doing before he was elected?”
Tate also considered his own form of protest, though he shied away from following Colin Kaepernick’s lead in kneeling for the National Anthem.
“I’m just not sure I would do it that way because I do have a lot of respect for the men and women who serve our country,” he said. “That just wouldn’t be my approach.”
It would also represent a major contradiction to honor those firefighters on 9/11 who raised the American flag from the ruins of the World Trade Center, only to dishonor them by kneeling during the National Anthem.
We’re glad Tate went with the respectful approach instead.
Like and share this post to honor the 9/11 first responders!