On Thursday, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was fined $10,000 by the NFL for wearing a pair of Beats by Dre headphones only days after the league’s announced deal with Bose.
Kaepernick, who is endorsed by Beats, wore the set during a press conference after Sunday’s victory over Kansas City. (The headphones were bright pink, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.) The NFL’s deal with Bose was only made public just before Sunday’s batch of games, and the league demanded that players not wear any competitors’ headsets in front of cameras before and after games.
Kaepernick was part of a huge campaign by Beats last year and was featured prominently in their television commercial called “I’m the Man.” The high-profile advertisement, which aired in Dec. 2013, has over four million hits on YouTube.
There is some validity to the question of whether or not Kaepernick and Beats dreamed this up as a public relations stunt. CSN Bay Area report Matt Maiocco spoke to Kaepernick about the fine and received a cryptic answer.
I asked Colin Kaepernick if he or Beats by Dre will pay the $10K fine. "We'll let that be unanswered," he said.
— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoCSN) October 9, 2014
Paying Kaepernick’s fine for a chunk of the news cycle would be a drop in the bucket for Beats. Apple purchased the company for $3 billion earlier this year and by some estimates it owns a 70 percent share of the premium headphones market.