Following the announcement earlier this month from the NFL that players are banned from wearing Beats by Dre headphones during league-related television broadcasts, Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine reacted to the news.
“We didn’t do anything, and now the players are going out and putting black tape on our logo,” Iovine said according to Business Insider. “It’s like, I can’t believe I’m this lucky. I feel like sending them the tape.”
The league’s recent ban followed an announcement in August that Bose has become the exclusive provider of headsets for the NFL. Last week, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was fined $10,000 for wearing a set of pink Beats in a post-victory press conference. Earlier this week, Kaepernick again wore a pink set of Beats but attempted to skirt the league’s regulations by obscuring the company logo with athletic tape.
Addressing the cultural impact of the ban, Jimmy Iovine hinted that the decision will hurt Bose in the long run.
“What happened there, you have a tech company that’s culturally inept,” Iovine said. “There’s no one at the company that said, ‘If you ban these guys, you’re going to look bad to the young people, and they’re going to look like superheroes even though they’re just pure capitalists—well they’re not pure capitalists, but they’re real capitalists and [they] sold that company to Apple—but you’re going to make them look like the underdog.”
In a recent statement to CNET the NFL reportedly defended their ban and compared it to similar regulations affecting footwear in league play.
“This is similar to the policy for footwear—Nike and Under Armour are the only footwear brands that receive exposure on field game-day,” an NFL rep said. “Players can wear any brand of footwear but must tape over logos of brands unless they are Nike and Under Armour.”
Shortly after the NFL’s original announcement of the ban, Beats released a statement claiming that “athletes have written Beats into their DNA as part of the pre-game ritual.”