Why do NFL Players Have White Tapes on Their Arms? (Find out today!)

Last Updated on October 4, 2023 by Alex PT

NFL players wear white tape on their arms for a variety of reasons, including to protect their arms from injuries, to improve their grip on the ball, to reduce friction, and for personal preference. White is commonly used as it blends with uniforms.

Why do football players wear tape on their arms?

Football players often adorn their arms with tape during matches, leaving spectators wondering about the purpose behind this practice. While it may seem merely decorative, there are several practical reasons why football players wear tape on their arms. Let’s delve into the top reasons behind this trend:

  1. Injury Prevention:
    • One primary purpose of arm taping is to provide support and stability to the muscles and joints.
    • Football players engage in intense physical contact and rigorous movements, which puts them at a higher risk of injuries.
    • Arm taping aids in preventing sprains, strains, and hyperextension of the wrists and elbows by limiting excessive movement.
  2. Muscle Compression:
    • Taping the arms tightly can enhance muscle compression, improving blood flow and oxygenation to the muscles.
    • This compression also helps reduce muscle vibration, minimizing the risk of fatigue and muscle soreness during matches.
  3. Joint Stabilization:
    • Stability is crucial for football players to perform at their best and prevent injuries.
    • By taping the forearm and elbow joints, players can enhance joint proprioception or the body’s awareness of its position in space.
    • This enhanced proprioception leads to better control of movements, reducing the likelihood of joint instability and potential injuries.
  4. Tendon Protection:
    • Wrapping tape around the arms can offer an additional layer of protection for the tendons.
    • The tendons in the forearm and wrists can be vulnerable to strains and overuse injuries, like tendonitis.
    • Arm taping helps stabilize these tendons, providing extra support during dynamic movements and reducing the risk of injury.
  5. Psychological Boost:
    • Wearing tape on their arms can provide a psychological advantage to football players.
    • The tape acts as a visual reminder of their strength, resilience, and commitment to the game.
    • It can boost players’ confidence and help them stay focused during intense matches, ultimately enhancing their performance.
  6. Style and Customization:
    • Alongside the functional benefits, many football players see arm taping as a fashion statement or an opportunity for personalization.
    • Some players use brightly colored tapes or incorporate team colors for a unified appearance.
    • The arm tape can also be used to display messages, slogans, or supportive symbols, highlighting players’ causes or beliefs.

Why Can’t Players Wear Sleeves Instead of Turf Tape?

There are a few reasons why players can’t wear sleeves instead of turf tape.

  • Sleeves can restrict movement. Long sleeves can restrict the movement of the arms, which can be a disadvantage in a sport like football where players need to be able to move quickly and freely.
  • Sleeves can get caught on equipment. Long sleeves can get caught on the equipment of other players, which can lead to injuries.
  • Sleeves can be hot and uncomfortable. Long sleeves can be hot and uncomfortable to wear, especially in warm weather.
  • Turf tape is more effective at preventing turf burns. Turf tape is designed to protect the skin from friction and abrasion, which can cause turf burns. Sleeves are not as effective at preventing turf burn, especially if they are made of a thin material.

What is the white tape worn by NFL players and what are they made of?

What is the white tape worn by NFL players and what are they made of

Specifically, the white tapes worn on the arm of NFL players are also known as kinesiology tapes. Materials used to make these tapes include mesh and adhesives to ensure a strong grip to avoid easy fall-off on contact during games. They are easily accessible for purchase in a sports shop and come at a pocket-friendly price. Aside from the fact that it is inexpensive, the grip it offers and its pressure sensitivity are reasons it is the main preference for professional players.

Are turf tapes only white in color?

There are no rules guiding the selection of color for turf tapes in the NFL rule book. But recently White turf tapes has been the most used and preferred color for players due to the introduction of regulations on color and accessories by the NFL. However, there are several occasions where black tapes are used by players during NFL games.

What will the tape protect you from?

As stated earlier, the NFL is an endearing game that involves physical challenges that can potentially lead to serious injuries. Turf tape is a form of protection against abrasions and bruises that may occur from a  serious turf landing. The arm’s skin of NFL players is usually exposed and these tapes are particularly worn on the arms as a protective means against burns and turf wounds.

Where can I use turf tapes?

As a grueling game, any means of protection to prevent or limit injuries for players is expected to be handled with an utmost priority.  Turf tapes are a great piece for turf related injuries and can be worn on the arms and the knees as well. This strands of tape serves as a cover for the exposed part of the player’s body and limits their chances of suffering severe bruises and burns during games.

Will turf tapes come off during contact?

Literally no! Turf tapes are made with materials that guarantee grips that stick tightly to the skin of players. It is an effective piece that barely falls off as players bumped into each other at high speed during games. In addition to that, the material is sweat resistant and its durability is affected by dirt.

What other purposes do turf tapes serve?

 Aside from preventing abrasions and burns, the turf tapes are also effective as an alternative for socks, which must be worn by players during games. Furthermore, some players chose not to wear long sleeves for comfort reasons. Turf tapes serve as an alternative option in that regard and it also helps players to hold a protective elbow without restriction.

What are turf burns?

NFL games are played on grass turf and as a high-energy sport that requires absolute physicality, players often suffer varying degrees of injuries. Turf burn is a common injury in the world of sport and is particularly a usual occurrence in NFL games. This injury occurs when a player grazes against the grass or hit the ground at high speed. The resulting injury from such is usually skin cuts, bruises, or abrasions which are also known as turf burns. Timely medical attention is needed to prevent such from leading to grievous infections.

What brand of turf tapes do NFL players use?

What brand of turf tapes do NFL players use

Through the years, Turf tapes have gradually become an important piece of kit for NFL players. There are several manufacturing brands to choose from considering their durability and consistency. One of the most used turf tape brands is the McDavid HEX tape. This particular brand is designed to control and prevent skin burns and is available in rolls that can be easily divided into different lengths and sizes.

What position in NFL requires players to wear turf tape?

In general terms, all players can wear turf tapes regardless of their position. Players that receive more tackles such as wide receivers and running backs usually wear turf tapes and defensive players do wear them as well as a preventive measure against turf burns.


Below is a compiled list of frequently asked questions on why NFL players wear white tapes on their arms. Let’s take a look at them!

What is the tape NFL players wear on their arms?

The white tape is called turf tapes and it’s a protective guard against skin abrasions and other field-related injuries.

Why do NFL players wear a towel in their pants?

NFL kits are heavy equipment and sweating is inevitable for players during games. Towels are worn on their hips to keep their arms dry during the games.

Why do NFL players wear one sleeve?

This is well known for its health benefits and has grown in popularity over the years. It is also called a compression sleeve and it helps in the player’s recovery and enhances performance.

Why do NFL players wear gloves?

Simply to improve the catching ability and traction of the ball. Naturally, Gloves contain a  tacky substance that enables a better grasp of the leather and is mostly worn by NFL players in wide areas of the position. 

Closing thoughts

White tapes are also known as turf tapes and they are worn by NFL players. Strictly to above turf burns and skin abrasions. It’s a highly effective piece of clothing worn on the arms and knees of the players a protective guard against turf and other field-related injuries. 

We have come to an end of this informative article and we hopefully believe this article has provided enough resources to answer all your queries about the article topic. Don’t hesitate to contact us for more questions.




Leave a Comment