NFL Fines Star Steelers Quarterback $5,000 for Wearing an Apple Watch

Nfl: Cincinnati Bengals At Pittsburgh Steelers Credit: Charles LeClaire / USA TODAY Sports
Text Size
- +

The NFL has fined star Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for wearing an Apple Watch on the sidelines of a recent game.

According to ESPN, Roethlisberger was spotted on the sidelines of the Steelers and Bengals game last Monday wearing street clothes and an Apple Watch. As a result, the League fined the star quarterback $5,000 for a uniform violation.

NFL rules bar any electronic device that can transmit or receive messages from being worn on the sidelines. But Roethlisberger is apparently “livid” about the fine, ESPN reported.

According to sources close to him, he’s primarily upset because he didn’t receive any advanced warning that he was in violation or a chance to remove the Apple Watch. In fact, he only found out about the violation after receiving a letter notifying him of the fine.

Roethlisberger was not actually playing in the game on Monday because he is recovering from an elbow injury in the second week of the season. Because he is unable to use his right arm, the quarterback’s wife actually dressed him for the game — which included strapping the smartwatch to his left wrist.

Because of that, Roethlisberger said he wasn’t even aware that he was wearing an Apple Watch in the first place.

The star quarterback is reportedly appealing the decision. It isn’t clear whether Roethlisberger will be successful in getting the fine reduced or tossed out.

This isn’t the first time that Roethlisberger has been under scrutiny for allegedly using a smart device on the sidelines. Back in 2015, the quarterback was seen using what looked suspiciously like a smartphone in the middle of a game with the Ravens.

The potential uniform violation was thrown out when it was revealed that the quarterback was simply looking at a wristband that contained the game’s play calls.

Of course, It’s worth noting that not all Apple Watches are actually capable of transmitting messages themselves.

GPS-only devices are only capable of sending and receiving messages if an iPhone is close by or connected to Wi-Fi. The more expensive GPS + Cellular models can send messages, but only if they are connected to a cellular plan.

Social Sharing