NFL Players are Now Practicing One of Soccer’s Oldest Rituals

If you watch soccer, there’s a decades-long tradition that usually happens after the referee’s final whistle.

Aside from players and coaches occasionally confronting sketchy referees…

Opposing players will swap jerseys. It’s a sign of respect and both players get to take home a memento.

Over the last decade, the jersey-swapping ritual has made its way to the NFL.

In fútbol, jersey-swapping is usually a spur-of-the-moment move. In the NFL, the swaps are usually planned out in advance.

Credit: Gregory Shamus / Getty

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And the players have the cost of each jersey docked from their pay at the end of the season.

Sometimes, players will swap jerseys with an opposing player that they respect as an athlete.

But players usually swap jerseys with friends, former college teammates or players who they consider mentors.

Makes sense, because NFL jerseys don’t slip off as easily as soccer jerseys.

Credit: Patrick Smith / Getty

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