Ex-Cats

Former UK star Avery Williamson’s 9/11 tribute cleats sell for $6,600 at auction

Tennessee Titans linebacker Avery Williamson wears shoes honoring victims of the 9/11 attacks in the second half of a game against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016, in Nashville.
Tennessee Titans linebacker Avery Williamson wears shoes honoring victims of the 9/11 attacks in the second half of a game against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016, in Nashville. AP

TMZ reported that the 9/11 tribute cleats that Tennessee Titans linebacker Avery Williamson wore in Week 1 sold at auction for $6,600.

The former University of Kentucky star said the money will go to Operation Warrior Wishes, a charity with a “mission to honor heroes, keep legacies alive and provide once-in-a-lifetime experiences to warriors from the battlefields to the ballfields.”

The auction’s winner will also get two tickets to a Titans home game, an autographed Williamson jersey, and a chance to meet Williamson.

Prior to the game against the Minnesota Vikings, Williamson said he had been told by the league that he would be fined for a uniform violation if he wore the shoes, according to The Tennessean. But several New York and New Jersey police associations offered to help pay the fine if he went ahead and wore the cleats.

“I just felt like I got so much support across the country, and especially when the New York and New Jersey police unions said that they would pay my fine, that really meant a lot,” Williamson told The Tennessean after the game, “so I felt like if I didn’t wear them, I just wouldn’t have felt good about it. I felt like I had to do that, just for myself and to represent the people that were lost and the people that do their jobs every day to protect us. I feel like it was just a duty.”

Williamson’s cleats — airbrushed by True Blue Customs in Lexington — were painted red, white, and blue and emblazoned with “9-11-01” and “Never Forget” on each shoe.

The NFL ended up making an exception to its uniform rule.

“We review all aspects of the weekend’s games beginning Monday. … We didn’t feel it was appropriate given the national tragedy,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told The Tennessean.

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