Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cam Heyward says the NFL fined him for wearing eye-black reading “Iron Head” in honor of his father's fight against cancer.
Heyward’s father, Craig “Ironhead” Heyward, was diagnosed with malignant bone cancer in November 1998 and was pronounced cancer-free after 40 rounds of radiation treatment. A tumor recurred in 2005 before he died on May 27, 2006 at the age of 39. Heyward played in the NFL from 1988 to 1998.
Players are permitted to use eye-black to reduce glare from sunlight or bright stadium lights, but the NFL's uniform policy against “personal messages” is a $5,787 fine for a first time offender. Heyward’s fine was not disclosed.
The NFL has designated October as the month to honor the fight against cancer, and teams have worn pink on their uniforms.
Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams, who lost his mother to breast cancer last year, asked the NFL if he could wear pink apparel outside of just October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month and was denied the request.
- Christopher Chavez