RGIII's T-Shirt: 'No Jesus, No Peace;' NFL: No Wear

By Terence P. Jeffrey | September 15, 2014 | 10:45pm EDT

(CNSNews.com) - Washington Redskins' quarterback Robert Griffin III, who dislocated his ankle in Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, entered the room for a post-game press conference wearing a T-shirt that said "[K]No[w] Jesus, [K]No[w] Peace" but turned it inside-out before speaking to reporters.

Video and photographic images show Griffin entering the room wearing the shirt--showing its emphatically Christian inscription--and then making remarks at the podium while wearing the shirt turned inside out so that the inscription did not show.

The "K"s and the "w"s in the "Know Jesus, Know Peace" inscription on RGIII's shirt were in black while the other letters were in white--so that the declaration "No Jesus No Peace" stood out.

Michael Phillips, a sportswriter for the Richmond Times Dispatch, who was in the room tweeted: "RGIII was wearing a t-shirt that said 'Know Jesus, Know Peace.' NFL Uniform Inspector Tony McGee (former Skins DE) approached Griffin...McGee told Griffin he couldn't wear the shirt because it wasn't a Nike product. Made him turn it inside out for the press conference."

Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III before and after his T-shirt was turned inside out after Sunday's game. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Phillips later published a story that said: "He entered the news conference room on crutches, wearing a neon-blue T-shirt that said: 'Know Jesus, Know Peace,' though he was asked to turn it inside-out by an NFL uniform inspector, who informed him only officially-licensed Nike products could be worn on camera."

Los Angeles Times reporter Chuck Schilken reported that RGIII had been fined $10,000 last year for wearing a T-shirt with a message.

Schilken wrote:

"The NFL has pretty strict rules about what players can and can't wear at the stadium on game days at any time they might be visible to the public. Players' outfit can't feature 'personal messages either in writing or illustration" and cannot "honor or commemorate individuals,' at least not without league approval.

"Furthermore, the league won't grant permission for any items 'which relate to political activities or causes, other non-football events, causes or campaigns, or charitable causes or campaigns.' Anything that is approved is supposed to be, among other things, "non-controversial.

"So while there doesn't seem to be any specific rules pertaining to religious-themed shirts like the one Griffin was wearing, there looks to be plenty of gray area and language that could have caused some grief for RG3.

"After all, this is a guy who was fined $10,000 last year for wearing a shirt that said 'Operation Patience'--a reference to the Redskins' slow pace in returning him to action after an ACL injury--before fans even arrived at the stadium."

"No wonder he decided to play it safe."

J.P. Finlay of Comcast Sportsnet also looked into the issue. He posted video of Griffin entering the press room wearing the "No Jesus, No Peace" message on his T-shirt and then answering questions at the podium with the T-shirt inside-out so people would not see the message.

Finlay also posted photographs of Redskins star defensive end Ryan Kerrigan--at the same press conference--wearing a T-shirt not made by Nike, but sporting writing on the front.

Kerrigan's T-shirt however made no mention of "Jesus" or "Peace"--or any relationship between the two

"It's worth noting that other players came to the podium not wearing Nike t-shirts. Like Ryan Kerrigan," wrote Finlay.

Finlay cited--and linked to--an NFL rule that prohibits players from "wearing, displaying, or otherwise conveying personal messages" on game day when they are visible to the public.

“Throughout the period on game-day that a player is visible to the stadium and television audience (including in pregame warm-ups, in the bench area, and during postgame interviews in the locker room or on the field), players are prohibited from wearing, displaying, or otherwise conveying personal messages either in writing or illustration, unless such message has been approved in advance by the League office," says the rule. "Items to celebrate anniversaries or memorable events, or to honor or commemorate individuals, such as helmet decals, and arm bands and jersey patches on players’ uniforms, are prohibited unless approved in advance by the League office. All such items must relate to team or League events or personages.”

Finlay reported that the Redskins said that RGIII turned his T-shirt inside-out by his own choice--rather than face a possible fine from the NFL.

"When reached by phone, a Redskins spokesperson indicated Robert Griffin III flipped his T-shirt inside out by choice, and was not asked to do so by an NFL representative," wrote Finlay. "Due to the personal message bylaw cited above, Griffin could have faced a fine by the NFL, and chose to avoid the situation, the Redskins spokesperson indicated."

In his remarks to reporters, Griffin discussed his injury.

"In moments like these you just have to keep the faith," he said. "Stay with it, and just believe that everything happens for a reason, and God has a plan."

Michael Phillips of the Richmond Times Dispatch, who initially drew attention to RGIII's T-shirt and the fact that it had been turned inside out at a press conference, has a line at the top of his Twitter page that simply says: Romans 10 14-15.

That passage of Scripture says: “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: 'How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"

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