The NFL has removed a triangular mask that represents life-changing sobriety from Las Vegas’ Maxx Crosby.
Raiders defender revealed on The rush podcast that he received an email asking him to return to a normal face mask.
Crosby’s unique triangular mask was personal to him and much more than just a fashion statement on the field.
“To me, the triangle represents sobriety,” Crosby said. “That’s it. That’s why I’m here. That’s why I’m doing this podcast with all of you. That’s why I have a beautiful daughter, a family, a big circle of people.
“That’s literally it. If I hadn’t made the decision to clean up my life, join AA and the 12 Steps, I wouldn’t be here. So that’s literally what it comes down to.”
The Raider began his revelation by accusing NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell of being responsible for the abrupt change.
“I love the National Football League, everything we stand for,” Crosby said. “But Roger Goodell, we have to make a call. We have to FaceTime. I want to talk to you, sit man to man. Because they made me take my mask off.”
Crosby is having another monster year for the Raiders, who improved to 3-3 after winning back-to-back games.
The former fourth-round pick already has 5.5 sacks and 35 tackles, including eight for losses, in just six games.
But Crosby made it clear, as he looked into a camera, that he was hurt by the NFL’s stance, which forced the fierce pass rusher to adapt to a normal face mask.
“They made me take my mask off,” Crosby said. “They sent me a nice email saying it had to go.”
The Raider has spoken a lot about his sobriety and the positive impact it has had on his life.
“I have the date I got sober,” Crosby said. “It’s the first thing I see every day when I pick up something: I see the triangle at all times.”
He added: “Representing sobriety to the fullest. I got tattoos on my neck, my hands, everywhere.
“So I put it on my mask – it means a lot to me. It means everyone watching understands what’s going on.”
Tyreek Hill was fined for multiple uniform violations, so this isn’t the first time the NFL has cracked down on creativity.
But because Crosby’s triangle design was so personal, the reformed Raiders star hopes that what is often called the No Fun League will change its ways and take a broader view.
“I was upset, but we’re going to work on it,” Crosby said. “We’re going to figure this out because we need to get this triangle back.”