NFL

NFL Players Can Feature Their Causes This Weekend

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by NFL Media

NFL PLAYERS’ CAUSES TAKE THE FIELD WITH

MY CAUSE, MY CLEATS CAMPAIGN

 Players across league to wear custom cleats reflecting their commitment to charitable causes during Week 13 games

Causes promoted in collaboration with The Players’ Tribune

NFL players will have the chance to share the causes that are important to them during all Week 13 games, as part of the NFL’s My Cause, My Cleats campaign. The initiative is a culmination of 18 months of collaborative work between the NFL and players across the league, and it includes an online storytelling platform, in partnership with The Players’ Tribune. Throughout the season, participating players have worked with The Players’ Tribune to tell the stories behind their cleats via long-form features and profile cards.

More than 500 players are planning to showcase their causes on-field during games, and many have worked directly with Nike, Under Armour and adidas to design their cleats, which will arrive in locker rooms this week, and will be worn on-field for all Week 13 games. Some teams, including the New York Giants and Houston Texans, worked with an independent customizer to design cleats for players on the team who opted to participate in the campaign.

Every cleat tells a story. Panthers tight end GREG OLSEN’S cleat will tell the story of his son, T.J., who survived a heart defect in his infancy, and will raise awareness for congenital heart defects and the HEARTest Yard initiative. Chiefs safety ERIC BERRY, 2016 Comeback Player of the Year, will use his cleat to tell the story of his battle with cancer and help raise awareness for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (see photo above). Cowboys tight end JASON WITTEN will use his cleats to raise awareness about healthy relationships and mentoring, as part of his SCORE Foundation. Cardinals running back DAVID JOHNSON’Scleats will tell the story of his being bullied as a child and his work with STOMP Out Bullying to help other kids going through the same experience. Many players have opted to join forces in support of causes they care about, including five players who will wear cleats that tell the stories of communities in East Africa that receive desperately-needed clean water through the Waterboys initiative, spearheaded by New England Patriots defensive end CHRIS LONG.  Ten players across the league, including Cardinals safety TYRANN MATHIEU and Buccaneers wide receiver MIKE EVANS will wear gold cleats (see photo at right) that tell the story of treating all people with respect and dignity and sidelining racism through the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) nonprofit organization. These are just a few examples of the causes important to players and the ways they’ll express their commitment. Beginning this week, players will start sharing images of their cleats and the stories behind them on social media, using the hashtag #mycausemycleats.

“One of the great NFL traditions is how our players passionately support important causes in their communities and around the globe every year,” said NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL.  “They are incredibly creative by nature so we are not surprised how they are seizing the opportunity this week with inspiring expressions of their charitable commitments on their cleats, online and through social media.”

In addition, players will have the opportunity to raise funds for the cause of their choosing by auctioning their cleats off at NFL Auction; 100% of funds raised will be donated to charities selected by players—all designated charities must have 501c3 status.  Players including Panthers linebacker THOMAS DAVIS are planning to use NFL Auction to raise funds for their causes. Davis will raise funds for the Thomas Davis Defending Dreams Foundation.

A special My Cause, My Cleats themed television spot started airing during yesterday’s games and will continue airing this week. The spot, which features Jets wide receiver BRANDON MARSHALL designing his cleats with kids from his Project 375 foundation, which focuses on promoting awareness of mental health, can be viewed here.


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.