Do Football Players Wear Jocks?

Football is one of the most physical sports on earth yet the vast majority of professional football players do not wear jocks or cups when they play. Some youth leagues will encourage players to wear cups but for the most part football players do not wear them.

This means that during NFL games football players will only have underwear on under their football pants. This leaves the potential for football players to take a direct hit to their vulnerable area at any point during the game.

This begs the question why don’t football players wear jocks? With all the hits football players take throughout the course of a football game one would think that a jock would be part of the mandatory equipment in football.

If you are enjoying this article on football players wearing jocks you may want to learn whether or not football players are allowed to wear glasses.

Why Don’t Football Players Wear Jocks?

Now that you know football players do not wear cups in football you may be wondering what their reasoning is behind this decision.

Below we are going to break down a few of the major reasons that jocks tend not to be worn by NFL players.

Interfering With Their Stride

One of the main reasons that NFL players do not wear cups in football is because it interferes with their ability to move. Though cups are relatively small pieces of equipment they sit in an area that can feel quite uncomfortable.

Having this piece of plastic between your legs makes it difficult to maintain your usual stride. New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora stated “I know it’s risky but I felt like I couldn’t move”

This isn’t uncommon for NFL players to sacrifice safety for performance. For years we have seen almost all football equipment shrink in order to allow for more movement from the players.

In a league this competitive a simple disadvantage like wearing a jock is not a performance risk most players are willing to take.

Doing More Harm Than Good

Another reason that football players do not wear cups is that it can actually result in more pain than not wearing one.

When a jock is in the right position it is going to cover your entire vulnerable area. But if the cup were to shift it can leave itself halfway covering this area.

If a player is hit around the waist there likely going to be some pressure on the cup itself. If the cup is not properly centered the hard plastic meant to protect is actually going to crush you.

With how much football players move around it is quite easy for the jock to get out of place.

Eli manning explained this point of view by stating “You know, it’s supposed to be centered, obviously. So, if it goes to the side and then you get hit and it presses into. … “

You Are Rarely Hit In This Area

Though the area where the cup goes is right in the center of the body this area is rarely contacted when tackled in football. A good portion of tackles are going to target the upper body of the player which of course leaves the lower half safe.

Lower hits tend to target a player’s hips or legs when looking to bring him down. The only real-time when the cup area is exposed is when hurdling another player.

If you take some time to watch football tackles you will find that very few tackles present a chance of injury for players that do not wear cups.


We hope you enjoyed our guide breaking down whether or not football players wear jocks. If you want to learn more about football you check out our guide to why football players tape their fingers.

If you want to learn more about football terminology see our guide to players wearing neck rolls and why players wear knee pads.

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