There were at least two examples from Super Bowl Media Day that demonstrated the ridiculousness of NFL policies.
The first, which you may have heard about, was Marshawn Lynch answering every question with “I’m here so I won’t get fined” before leaving once he was on the podium for five minutes — the minimum required of NFL players at Media Day. Lynch, who is often the center of attention for not speaking with media, reportedly would have been fined $500,000 if he decided to not show up on Tuesday.
But there was another Seahawk involved in an interesting dilemma related to Bose’s exclusive sponsorship deal with the NFL. At one point on Tuesday, a member of the media gave cornerback Richard Sherman an iPad with headphones. USA Today’s Lorenzo Reyes reported that Sherman was asked to watch a video and sing along to a beat.
However, as Reyes noted, the headphones were made by Sony. The NFL inked an exclusive deal with Bose before this season and later banned players from using any headphones other than Bose during TV interviews before or after games, practices, and training camp sessions. The league actually fined San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick $10,000 after sporting Beats headphones at a post-game press conference.
Sherman, who is a spokesman for Bose competitor and Apple-owned Beats Electronics, declined to wear the headphones — likely knowing he’d be fined by the league for doing so. Instead, he listened to the iPad from the tablet’s speaker.
Sherman taking question via tablet, but had to listen speaker to ear because headphones aren't NFL approved Bose pic.twitter.com/WQYzY4qbiJ
— Micah Rice (@col_mrice) January 27, 2015
Ridiculous, right? But props to Sherman for knowing what was at stake.
While Bose is the NFL’s exclusive partner and has signed athletes like Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, Beats seems to have the upper hand in terms of sponsored athletes. The company was acquired by Apple for $3 billion this past May — later in 2013, Apple decided to remove Bose products from its retail stores.