NFL New Helmet Rule Explained After Antonio Brown Drama

Pittsburgh Steelers v Jacksonville Jaguars
Pittsburgh Steelers v Jacksonville Jaguars / Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Leave it to Mr. Big Chest to revitalize an otherwise dull Friday afternoon of sports. As most of you are probably already aware of by now, Antonio Brown shockingly threatened to retire from football if the NFL doesn't permit him to wear his old helmet.

The All-Pro wideout claims that the league's new helmets impede his vision during routes as he tries to haul in passes.

Well, there's a reason for the NFL's modernized policy regarding the headgear -- player safety. For those who need a refresher, let's dissect the new safety protocol.

Banned NFL Helmets

Brown's helmet -- labeled as the Schutt Air Advantage helmet -- is no longer certified by the National Operating Committee for Standards and Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE). The company has even discontinued making the hard hat.

During the offseason the NFL and the NFL Players Association reportedly added 11 helmets to their list of approved gear. Both parties also eliminated a profusion of other models. In fact, as of last season, 32 players were donning helmets that are now banned.

The NOCSAE has a long-standing rule in place that no helmets older than 10 years can be sported by the league's players. Therein lies the problem with Brown's headgear -- it's over a decade old.

There you have it, folks. We truly didn't think we'd be providing a refresher course on the sensitive matter, but the Central Michigan product is as unpredictable and petulant as personalities come.