Ross Kelly, CBS Local Sports

The NFL certainly supports patriotism and honoring veterans, but only under their own terms.

Carolina Panthers’ cornerback Josh Norman found that out first-hand this week when he was notified that he would be fined $5,000 for a uniform violation. Norman wore red, white, and blue cleats  for the game against the Packers as a tribute to all veterans as a part of the NFL’s Salute to Service week. Here are the cleats courtesy of Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer:

Norman says it wasn’t the color of the shoes which earned him a fine but the fact that the words, “proud, brave” were embroidered on the side:

“They got me for the wording that was on the side of it. I can’t have any words. It is what it is.”

Norman said he plans to auction off the cleats and donate the money to the troops at Fort Jackson, an army base close to his birthplace of Greenwood, South Carolina:

“Just give back to them and give them some hope and let them know we care about them and we love them as well. That’s what I can do.”

It would be nice if the NFL decided to rescind the fine and instead match Norman’s donation to the army base. But as we’ve seen in the past, chances are slim that will actually happen.

Ross Kelly is an Associated Producer for CBS Local Sports. He is from Louisiana and is a fan of all sports, but not of any teams (except LSU). He can be reached at