Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cam Heyward will no longer wear “Iron Head” on his eye black to honor his father’s fight against cancer after talking to the league on a conference call Tuesday, he said on Twitter.
Because eye black messages violate uniform regulations, the league fined him $5,787 after the message first appeared last week, and fined him again after he violated the rules a second time on Sunday.
According to an ESPN report, the league has reduced both penalties on the condition that Heyward agrees to honor his father in other ways.
“I consider myself a team player and someone who puts others before myself, and I don’t want to be a distraction to my teammates or the Steelers organization,” Heyward wrote in a statement posted on Twitter. “With that, I will not be writing on my eye black going forward anymore. I will be honoring my father in other ways on and off the field.”
Heyward also announced a charitable partnership with EyeBlack.com, allowing fans to buy “Iron Head” eye black to benefit his charity.
Heyward’s father, Craig “Ironhead” Heyward, was diagnosed with 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. He played in the NFL from 1988 to 1998.
- Kenny Ducey