Thursday, February 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Steelers receiver Brown pays tribute to late Marlins, Alonso pitcher Fernandez with custom cleats

The latest customized cleats from Steelers receiver Antonio Brown have posthumous tributes to South Florida athletes Kimbo Slice and Jose Fernandez. Brown is a Miami native, and the Steelers visit the Dolphins on Sunday.

Slice, an MMA fighter, died in June of heart issues. Fernandez, a star pitcher for the Marlins and at Alonso High, died last month in a boat accident off Miami Beach.

Brown also has worn customized cleats this season featuring his four children, Arnold Palmer and Muhammad Ali, sometimes incurring the displeasure of the NFL's uniform police.

Brown was allowed to wear the Palmer cleats in an Oct. 2 game against the Chiefs after the golfing great's death last month. He said he was fined for wearing the Ali shoes in last weekend's game against the Jets. After ignoring an NFL uniform inspector's request that he remove the shoes before the game, coach Mike Tomlin ordered Brown to take them off in the first half.

Brown said Friday he plans to follow the NFL rules on Sunday, which presumably means he'll wear the tribute shoes during warmups.

After Brown put a picture of Sunday's cleats on Twitter, Marlins infielder Dee Gordon and pitcher Tom Koehler wrote Brown their appreciation of the gesture.

"Respect on them cleats Sunday!" Gordon wrote on Twitter.

"Seen a lot of tributes these last weeks," Koehler wrote. "Yours are truly one of a kind."

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