Avery Williamson said he expected the NFL would levy a fine against him for wearing his star-spangled 9/11 cleats last Sunday.
But when news came from the league that he would not be fined, Williamson said he was glad.
“I expected it. I thought I would be fined, but they obviously found some sympathy in their hearts,” Williamson said.
Williamson had planned to wear the cleats, then was told by the league he would fined if he did. The Titans linebacker then wore the cleats anyway after getting support from head coach Mike Mularkey.
“It was awesome,” Williamson said of Mularkey’s support. “I didn’t know he was gonna feel that passionately about it, and when he did, I was like, ‘I feel like I’ve got to do it.’ I felt like he would probably fine me if I didn’t wear the cleats, so I went ahead and did it.”
In making the decision to wear the cleats, Williamson said he just felt it was the right thing to do – even in defiance of NFL policy.
“It’s a tough situation It’s the biggest tragedy in our country’s history. I was just trying to do the right thing, and wasn’t gonna go against the NFL rules, but I felt like it was necessary for that situation,” he said.
Throughout the whole process, the third-year linebacker said he has been amazed at the level of support he has received from across the country, especially with police unions willing to pay whatever fine he was expected to incur.
“I was shocked. I didn’t think I would get that much support from across the country from everybody. It was pretty awesome (to have the support) of police unions and people. I think I gained probably 10,000 new fans,” Williamson said.
The cleats are still being auctioned off for charity and the bid as of Wednesday was around $6,000, according to Williamson.