Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was fined $5,000 by the NFL after wearing an Apple Watch on the sidelines during their 27-3 blowout win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football September 30th.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that Roethlisberger is ‘livid’ about the fine, and says he never received any advance warning that he could be in violation from wearing the smart watch.
Roethlisberger claims his wife had picked out his outfit that night and had dressed him, adding that she strapped the watch to his wrist without Big Ben even knowing it. (LOL).
The NFL has rules that ban all electronic devices that transmit messages while in the vicinity of the field during a game.
Although appearing innocuous at first glance, the use of Apple watches has come under close scrutiny in other professional sports.
In 2017, Major League Baseball fined the Boston Red Sox an undisclosed amount of money following a New York Times report that the Red Sox used an Apple Watch to steal signs from the rival Yankees during a mid-September regular season game.
Stealing signs isn’t illegal in Major League Baseball, but television footage from the game showed a Red Sox employee routinely looking at the watch and then relaying messages to players.
The Yankees had discovered the camera footage and sent the video to the commissioners office, and Rob Manfred agreed with the allegations.
Ben Roethlisberger underwent season-ending elbow surgery on September 23rd, but is expected to be ready for the beginning of the 2020 season.