Football star fined $5K just for wearing an Apple Watch

Football star fined $5K just for wearing an Apple Watch
The National Football League (NFL) signed a deal with Microsoft back in 2014 to replace the Polaroid cameras that used to be employed on the sidelines and in the press box. The cameras were used to snap photos of the opponents' offensive and defensive formations in an effort to find weaknesses to exploit. Instead of instant photography, teams now use Surface Pro tablets that are modified with a thick case to help them survive the wear and tear of a grueling NFL schedule. Other changes include a waterproof screen, and connectivity is limited to a wireless network available in each stadium.

Some coaches and players are not happy with the use of the Surface Pro tablets; during last year's AFC Championship game between the Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots, New England head coach Bill Belichick threw his tablet on the ground and then flung it into the stands. And the Surface Pro has been mistreated in other ways as well, including the time it was misidentified as an Apple iPad during a nationally televised NFL game.

The NFL is serious about controlling the use of messaging by teams during the course of a contest. While quarterbacks are allowed to have plays transmitted to them from the sidelines via radio transmission (one player on offense and one on defense are allowed to have a radio embedded in their helmet), teams are not allowed to use a smartphone or a smartwatch on the sidelines. And outside of the allowed Surface Pro tablet, connected slates are out as well. This is why the league has fined Pittsburgh Steeler Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger $5,000 for wearing an Apple Watch on the sidelines during last Monday night's Steelers-Bengals game.

According to ESPN, Roethlisberger, recovering from elbow surgery, didn't even realize that he was wearing the device. Now those of you who wear an Apple Watch might be wondering how that could be. It turns out that because he was just coming off the surgical procedure on his right elbow, Roethlisberger's wife dressed him for the game and placed the smartwatch on his left wrist. The Quarterback was described as being "livid" about the fine and plans on appealing it. The two-time Super Bowl-winning QB can afford the fine considering that earlier this year he signed a two-year $68 million contract extension.

Thanks to its heart rate monitor and electrocardiogram (ECG) features, the Apple Watch has saved the lives of several people. This is the first time that we've heard about someone having to shell out some cash just because they were wearing the device.

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