Why Are NFL Coaches Wearing Camo?
Have you noticed a large uptick in the number of NFL coaches wearing camo gear lately? You will be surprised to learn that this trend isn’t new and has been an NFL tradition for years. Let’s dive right into “Why are NFL coaches wearing camo?” and how this trend began.
Why are NFL Coaches Wearing Camouflage?
NFL participants and staff regularly don camo clothing around November in honor of Veteran’s Day. The move demonstrates their appreciation for American military members serving worldwide and the contributions they make to keep our country safe.
While many coaches do make the conscious choice to wear Camo clothing in November, the trend is primarily kept alive through an annual Salute to Service campaign. The NFL sells unique camo-themed clothing on their website during this campaign. They also auction Salute the Service gear worn by players and coaches during games.
All profits from these clothing sales are distributed to support the American military community in the country and throughout other regions of the world.
What Type of Clothing are NFL Coaches and Players Wearing During Salute to Service
NFL coaches can be seen wearing camo hoodies and shirts throughout the duration of the Salute to Service campaign. Custom hoodies and shirts NFL coaches wear are a powerful visual reminder of the league’s commitment to supporting the military and their families. These garments are emblazoned with the Salute to Service logo, which features a ribbon with the words “Thank You” and an American flag. It
is rare to see players on the field in camo clothing. However, they have expressed their support for military members in other ways.
For example, the Dallas Cowboys were seen wearing football helmets with a long red strip during their Week 9 game against opponents the Denver Broncos in 2021. The players were also spotted donning Medal of Honor decals on their jerseys.
While these choices align with the spirit of Salute to Service, the helmets and decals mentioned above are not sold as part of the campaign. However, they still demonstrate the team’s willingness to support American military personnel.
Why Doesn’t Bill Belichick Wear Camo Gear During Salute to Service
While many coaches gladly don camo gear annually for Salute to Service, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has chosen to refrain from this practice. Many would find this decision strange, given that Belichick’s father served in the Navy for many years.
The New England Patriots coach has cited many reasons why he does not wear Camo Gear for Salute to Service. The first reason is that he prefers to wear the same clothing for each event, except when weather conditions force him to dress otherwise. Belichick does not follow the “weekly themes” that the rest of the NFL follows.
The second reason Belichick stated was that he believes in showing appreciation for the military through his actions rather than what he wears. He has made it clear that the military’s sacrifices are important to him and his family and that they are worth recognizing. He simply doesn’t believe wearing a sweatshirt matters as much as direct support through actions.
“I don’t know. I mean, I usually wear the same thing for every game – I mean, not the same thing, but depending on the weather and so forth, I just wear the same thing for every game. So, I don’t change what I wear weekly based on whatever the theme of the week is.”
“But, Salute to Service is – look, the military and the job that our servicemen and women do and the sacrifices that they make are very important to me and my family, always has been, always will be, and I always want to recognize those and I do it. So, I don’t have any objection to what anybody else does, but I just choose to – 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,” said Belichick.
Other Ways the NFL Participates in Salute to Service
The NFL supports Salute to Service in many ways, in addition to selling camo clothing. The league acknowledges the contributions that American military personnel make and shows their appreciation by holding moments of special recognition at events and games. NFL coaches and players also make visits to American military bases, both locally and internationally.
Players also send letters and host video calls with veterans and active service members regularly. For example, former Dallas Cowboys running back Emmet Smith and former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning surprised veterans with video calls as part of the Salute to Service campaign.
The NFL also presents custom challenge coins for the Salute to Service campaign. The challenge coins often featuring the Salute to Service logo, as well as the logos of various NFL teams. They are often given to military personnel and their families as a sign of appreciation and respect, as a way to say “thank you” for their service and sacrifice. The custom coins are a small but powerful symbol of the league’s commitment to supporting the military community, and serve as a reminder that their service and sacrifice is truly appreciated.
NFL’s History of Support for the Armed Forces
The NFL has shown its support for the armed forces for many decades pre-datingSalute the Service. They first partnered with United Service Organizations (USO) fifty years ago to help support America’s armed forces around the world. This partnership kicked off the trend of NFL players visiting combat zones and the active military personnel serving in them.
Partnership With Pat Tillman Foundation
In 2010, the NFL formed a partnership with the Pat Tillman Foundation. The partnership’s goal was to help honor exceptional individuals who demonstrate qualities that reflect former Arizona Cardinals player and U.S. serviceman Pat Tillman’s legacy. The program offered education scholarships for veterans, active military personnel, and spouses.
It has given scholarships to 460 recipients studying at 100 universities across the nation. These scholarships amount to a total of $14 million in academic support.
Contributions to the Wounded Warrior Program
The NFL has also become a regular donor to the Wounded Warrior Program, which aims to help and honor military personnel who have suffered physical or mental injuries during or after 9/11. The league’s annual contributions have helped over 2,500 combat veterans nationwide.
The United Services Automobile Association (USAA) has remained an official military appreciation sponsor for the NFL since 2011. They have helped maintain the Salute the Service tradition by launching the camo clothing initiative.
The USAA has also promoted the campaign through special events such as in-stadium card stunts, organizing fan demonstrations, and hosting scores of military personnel at NFL games.
Will Coaches Continue Wearing Camo at Games?
You are likely to see coaches and people on the sidelines at games wear camo clothing each November. The Salute the Service campaign has been successful thus far and will likely continue into the future. So the next time you wonder, “Why is NFL wearing camo today?” In November, you can check to see if the Salute the Service campaign has kicked off.
People who would like to support this tradition can purchase camo clothing on sale at the NFL website in November or bid on the gear worn by coaches at games. Alternatively, you can follow Bill Belichick’s approach and support the American military in other ways.
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