National Football League rules for the upcoming season require press photographers to wear red vests that sport Canon and Reebok logos, and some shooters are objecting.
A Wall Street Journal story mentioned the new rule, and the National Press Photographers Association objected on Wednesday.
"It totally goes against our Code of Ethics to force photographers to advertise as if they were some sort of Nascar vehicle," John Long, chairman of NPPA's Ethics and Standards Committee, said in an article on the organization's Web site. The article also quoted Pete Cross, photography managing editor for The Palm Beach Post in Florida, as saying photographers wore Tostitos-branded vests inside-out in protest this year at the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
Responses to the move among photographers posting at the SportsShooter.com Web site ranged from cynical to sharply negative.
"There is no spot too insignificant on which to place a logo or other advertising," said D. Ross Cameron. "I shoot Nikon and wear Nike. Will that be a conflict of interest?" asked Josh Thompson. "There will be a lot of photographers who will complain, but there will always be a long list of photographers willing to wear the vest to get on the sidelines of an NFL game," said Mike Brice.
Curiously, photographer Gavin Smith said in August 2006 that an NFL official ordered him to cover up a Canon logo on a monopod.