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William Gay is wearing purple cleats for domestic violence awareness

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Gay told Dejan Kovacevic he doesn't care if the league fines him for it, either. He also doesn't care if it's the colors of the Steelers' opponents on Sunday. A message sent is a message sent.

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Fines? Don't make Steelers cornerback William Gay laugh.

He wore purple cleats in the Steelers' 51-34 win over the Indianapolis Colts last weekend, and he told Dejan Kovacevic of DK On Pittsburgh Sports "They can fine me, and I’ll pay it. Happily. It’s for a good cause and a cause that people should know about. It can’t be a secret anymore. Been a secret too long."

Read the rest of Kovacevic's story, it's excellent.

Even though the cleats are purple, it's especially poignant for Gay to wear them against the purple-clad Baltimore Ravens Sunday night. The added exposure of prime-time television, combined with the recent incidents involving a former Ravens running back, drive the point home even more;

Gay wears them as a means of bringing greater awareness to domestic violence. It wasn't a fashion statement or a way to stand out from his peers, even as he raced down the Heinz Field turf for a touchdown off of an interception last week. He's doing it for the very same reason, though. To get noticed and to bring out awareness of a significant national issue.

Gay is a known advocate of the prevention of domestic violence, after having lost his mother in a murder-suicide when he was a child. He speaks out about the issue and the situation involving former Ravens running back Ray Rice during the summer only brought out the urgency of such a cause.

Bears WR Brandon Marshall wore green cleats last year in a nationally televised game to bring out awareness of mental illness in the United States. He was fined $15,000 for it and Gay can expect to receive a similar fine under the NFL rule:

Rule 5, Section 4, Article 2(g) "Each team must designate a dominant base color for its shoes, either black or white (with shoelace color conforming to the dominant base color of the tongue area of the shoe). A player may wear an unapproved standard football shoe style as long as the player tapes over the entire shoe to conform to his team’s selected dominant base color (i.e., white or black)."

That doesn't matter to Gay, and it shouldn't. Some things are more important than the NFL's uniform policy.