Always mindful of protecting its image against anything unseemly, the NFL has issued a ban against players wearing Beats headphones. The new policy comes after a rash of recent NFL scandals, in which Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was suspended indefinitely for beating his fiancée, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Petersen was suspended indefinitely for beating his child, and the league itself has come under increased fire for the debilitating concussions sustained by players beating their heads together. As such, the league has declared that it doesn’t want its athletes to be seen wearing any headphones that say “Beats” on them, now that the NFL has an exclusive contract with Bose.
As per the league’s new arrangement with Bose, all NFL players must refrain from wearing Beats during TV interviews before and after the game, whether during pre-season or regular season—in short, anywhere they could be caught on camera, security or otherwise. Anything else would be in violation of the league’s policies against unauthorized exposure of brands, which is among the policies regarding its players that the NFL takes seriously.
None too happy with the ban, Beats has issued a statement to tech blog Recode, arguing that Beats-ing is part of the professional football players’ personality—a learned behavior that’s encouraged by the NFL culture, or maybe it’s just in their nature.
“Over the last few years athletes have written Beats into their DNA as part of the pre-game ritual,” a Beats spokesperson said. “Music can have a significant positive effect on an athlete’s focus and mental preparedness and has become as important to performance as any other piece of equipment.” Naturally, the concern is that cracking down on an NFL player’s ability to Beats anyone they like, any time and anywhere, could severely limit their team’s performance—a concern that the NFL has traditionally shared.
On the brighter side, both Beats and Bose have noise-canceling technology, allowing everyone at the NFL to continue shutting out everything they don’t want to hear.