NFL Players Ignore Ban On Beats Headphones, Wear Them Anyway

The NFL signed a deal with Bose and banned players from wearing competitors' headphones. Some wore Beats by Dre during Sunday warm-ups anyway.
Posted at 3:55 PM, Oct 13, 2014

Beats vs. Bose is likely not the matchup you were tuning in to watch on Sundays, but the headphone companies are enthralled in quite the battle. 

See, the NFL banned players from wearing Beats by Dre headphones last week after signing a deal with Bose. That means any players who want to disobey and wear non-Bose headphones when the cameras are on will risk getting fined by the league. (Video via Beats by Dre

Which is what happened to 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick last week, who wore the headphones during a postgame press conference and subsequently was hit with a $10,000 fine from the league. (Video via YouTube / Fortyniners LakersSpin

But it appears Kaepernick isn't alone in his fight to keep his favorite pair of headphones. 

During warm-ups Sunday, several other prominent NFL players including Tom Brady, Cam Newton and Richard Sherman were all spotted wearing Beats by Dre headphones. 

But it's still a little unclear whether or not the NFL will fine these players. No fines have yet been announced.  

Deadspin writes"Really, what can the NFL do? The schedule of fines doesn't set a maximum on logo violations, but it's probably not in the NFL's best interests—or, more specifically, in Bose's—to escalate this."

The NFL announced the deal back in March, making Bose "official headphone and headset of the NFL" though that ban of Beats by Dre didn't get implemented until a little more than a week ago. Monetary terms of the contract are still unclear. (Video via Bose

Re/code explains, "This ban extends to TV interviews conducted during pre-season training camps or practice sessions and on game day — starting before the opening kickoff through the final whistle to post-game interviews conducted in the locker room or on the podium."

Now, this controversy probably ranks pretty low in comparison to other NFL scandals recently, but this headphones battle is a pretty big deal in the tech world as the companies continue to clash. 

Late last week it was announced that Bose dismissed its lawsuit against Beats regarding noise-canceling patents infringement.  

That same day, MacRumors reported that Apple, who bought Beats by Dre back in May, was preparing to remove Bose products from their stores. 

But Businessweek writes this ban from the NFL might actually be good for Beats' publicity. "Beats' mainstream success ... kind of undermines its image as an edgy upstart. It's not impossible to be both ubiquitous and hip but it's hard. The NFL's alignment with Bose sure helps Beats position itself as anti-establishment."

Kaepernick brought out those Beats by Dre headphones again Monday night, but with some tape covering the logo this time. We'll see if the league finds it fine-worthy this time. (Video via HLN

This video includes images from Getty Images.