Shining on the Field: Can NFL Players Wear Jewelry?

25 January 2023

NFL players face intense scrutiny as professional athletes, especially in terms of their behavior on and off the field. One query that is commonly asked revolves around whether they are allowed to don jewelry while participating in games – to which the answer is yes, albeit with certain limitations.

Rule on Jewelry in the NFL

The NFL has a clear rule to ensure the safety of their players: no “hard objects,” such as rings, earrings, bracelets, or necklaces may be worn during games. However, they provide an exception for watches and religious medallions which are considered less dangerous than other jewelry items. Players must adhere to this regulation in order to maintain player safety on the field.

The NFL has instituted this rule for the safety of everyone on the field, as hard objects pose a serious risk to players and opponents alike. Additionally, it is important to maintain a level of professionalism among players, which can be compromised by excessive or distracting jewelry. Therefore, all jewelry must be removed before playing in an NFL game.

Exceptions and Special Cases

The NFL is stringent when it comes to jewelry, though a few exemptions are granted. Players with religious or cultural reasons for wearing certain forms of jewelry, such as the kirpan and Star of David, may be allowed to do so – on one condition: they must furnish legitimate documentation and gain approval from the league before donning them during a game.

For those players who have medical conditions that necessitate the wearing of jewelry like a necklace with an alert pendant, the league may allow them to be on-field provided they can securely secure it and not pose any safety risks.

Players Who Choose to Ignore the Rule

Despite the NFL’s established and explicit rules against jewelry, some players still choose to flout them in-game. This disregard for policy can result in severe repercussions, both for the individual offender and their team. Terrell Owens is a notable example of this; while playing with the San Francisco 49ers in 2002 he wore an extravagant diamond earring during a match – his penalty was $5,000 which he then unsuccessfully attempted to challenge.


To summarize, the NFL’s players are permitted to don certain ornaments such as religious medallions and watches, yet hard objects like necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings are forbidden on the field due to safety concerns.

The NFL does make allowances for medical reasons, religious beliefs, and cultural practices in certain scenarios. Nonetheless, players who don’t abide by the rules can be subjected to monetary fines or disciplinary action. It is essential that all athletes recognize and adhere to the protocols established by the NFL; this will guarantee a safe playing environment for everyone involved.