Following recent news of the NFL banning its players from wearing Beats By Dre headphones earlier this month, co-founder Jimmy Iovine reacted to the news, via a speaking engagement at University of Southern California’s Global Conversation.
“What happened there, you have a tech company that’s culturally inept,” Iovine said, according to Business Insider. “There’s no one at the company that said, ‘If you ban these guys, you’re going to look bad to the young people, and they’re going to look like superheroes even though they’re just pure capitalists — well they’re not pure capitalists, but they’re real capitalists and [they] sold that company to Apple — but you’re going to make them look like the underdog.”
Despite the ban, some players have blown it off completely, specifically San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who placed masking tape over the Beats logo on his headphones after receiving a $10,000 fine from the NFL.
“We didn’t do anything, and now the players are going out and putting black tape on our logo,” said Iovine. “It’s like, I can’t believe I’m this lucky. I feel like sending them the tape.”
The NFL recenty defended their ban in a statement to CNET, comparing it to similar regulations affecting footwear in league play.
“This is similar to the policy for footwear — Nike and Under Armour are the only footwear brands that receive exposure on field game-day,” an NFL rep said. “Players can wear any brand of footwear but must tape over logos of brands unless they are Nike and Under Armour.”