Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward announced on Twitter Tuesday night that he would no longer be wearing the eye black with the tribute message "Iron Head" during games after cutting a deal with the NFL. Heyward had been honoring his late father Craig "Ironhead" Heyward, who played in the NFL for 11 seasons. He died following a battle with bone cancer in 2006.
The defensive end first donned the eye black during the Steelers' Week 5 game against the San Diego Chargers, and again during their Week 6 game against the Arizona Cardinals. For his desire to honor his father, Heyward was fined $5,787 for the first uniform violation and was facing a $11,576 fine for his second "offense."
To mitigate the public backlash the NFL has received for punishing him, Heyward met with league officials on Tuesday. To close the controversy, Heyward and the league agreed that the second fine would be significantly reduced as long as Heyward stopped putting "Iron Head" on his eye black, according to ESPN.
In his tweet Tuesday night, the 26-year-old said he would continue to wear regular eye black in memory of his dad and that he would be honoring his father "in other ways on and off the field."
Heyward also announced a partnership to create a specialized eye black with the "Iron Head" message on it. Half of the money from the sales will go to medical causes that have ties to his foundation.
Leave it to the players to make the best out of an unfortunate NFL situation.
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