As professional football fans worldwide are enjoying the thrill and excitement of ongoing NFL games, they might have noticed a new trend: Coaches donning brown camouflage. Throughout American football history, we have seen NFL coaches usually resplendent in their team’s colors, sometimes trading that to wear some other colors to support various causes, such as green for mental health awareness and pink for breast cancer awareness campaigns.
But what is the cause behind NFL coaches wearing brown sweatshirts this time? Let’s delve into it.
Why NFL Coaches Embrace the Brown Camouflage Hoodie
The answer lies in the NFL’s Salute to Service initiative, held annually in November during Weeks 9-11 of the season to honor United States military personnel. Each NFL franchise designates one Sunday home game during the season as their special Salute to Service matchup.
Brown camouflage holds symbolic significance in military culture, representing endurance, adaptability, and the ability to blend into diverse surroundings.
The tradition of wearing brown camouflage apparel began in 2009 when the NFL launched its Salute to Service program. During this time, the league aims to connect with the nation’s service members, veterans, and their families by not just team coaches wearing military-inspired hoodies but also through various other activities, including:
Special game ceremonies: NFL teams organize various pre-game and halftime shows to support the cause which often include flyovers, performances by military bands, and presentations of awards to veterans.
Community outreach: NFL teams also participate with various organizations to host community events such as visits to military bases and hospitals, and participation in veteran job fairs.
Fundraising efforts: The NFL raises military charity funds by organizing many fundraising events from the NFL Salute to Service Coin Toss Challenge to the NFL Salute to Service merchandise sales where fans can participate by purchasing military-inspired apparel including Hoodies, Hats, and Shirts.
Since 2011, the NFL has raised approximately $66 million in charitable contributions for the Salute to Service program, which directly supports the well-being of the nation’s troops.
Must coaches wear brown?
It is not necessary for every coach to wear brown camouflage. Only coaches who are members of the NFL Coaches Association are required to follow this attire guideline. Jets Head Coach Robert Saleh, who is not a member of this association, and Patriots HC Bill Belichick have chosen not to wear the Salute to Service apparel.
When asked why he didn’t wear the camouflage hoodie, Bill Belichick replied: “Honestly, I don’t think what sweatshirt I wear is that important. What’s important to me is what your actions are, what you do, so I try to make those count.”
Bill is known for his regular visits with wounded veterans and frequently addresses the importance of the military inside the locker room.
NFL partners aid Salute to Service
The NFL has partnered with a wide range of organizations to support the Salute to Service program, including corporations like Nike, New Era, and Fanatics, as well as non-profit organizations like the United Service Organizations (USO), the Pat Tillman Foundation, the Wounded Warrior Project, and TAPS.
Pat Tillman Foundation: Pat Tillman was a former defensive player for the Cardinals who left football to join the US Army and gave his life while serving the nation in Afghanistan. Honoring Pat’s legacy, the Pat Tillman Foundation empowers military families through scholarships and support.
TAPS: In collaboration with TAPS, the NFL pays tribute to military families by welcoming them to NFL events throughout the year and by providing support for healing through mentorship and counseling programs.
Wounded Warrior Project: A nonprofit organization whose goal is to assist veterans who get injured while serving the nation.
The NFL, through its Salute to Service initiative, has shown a tremendous commitment to supporting and honoring military personnel and their families. Coaches by wearing brown color attire showcase their solidarity towards their nation’s security. The NFL’s extensive partnerships with various organizations further amplify the reach and impact of the program beyond the football fields.
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