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NFL Players Highlight Important Causes Through My Cause My Cleats

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December 4th, 2023

Keenan Crow

Hundreds of NFL players across the league on Sunday took the field with a little extra pride, wearing customized cleats to show support for causes that are personal to them. 

The league's My Cause My Cleats initiative, which officially launched in 2016, gives players an opportunity to use their platforms to bring important causes to the forefront. Here's where the cleats come into play..

The league allows players to wear their custom designed footwear during weeks 13 and 14 of the NFL season to raise awareness around issues they're passionate about. A number of athletes will then donate their cleats via auction, with all proceeds being donated by the NFL Foundation to each player's charity.

To bring their designs to life and showcase their causes in a unique way, players collaborate with cleat manufacturers and designers each season to create these custom-designed cleats.

“Every year, players across the league have the opportunity to share the off-field causes that matter most to them during My Cause My Cleats," said Anna Isaacson, NFL Senior Vice President of Social Responsibility in a release. “These important causes, ranging from youth and education to health and wellness, help strengthen our communities, and the league is grateful for our players' continued support of this important initiative."

The NFL says nearly half of all participating players, coaches and team staff have chosen to support various forms of cancer and other physical health-related causes, such as raising awareness of neurodegenerative disorders and promoting preventive services for conditions like diabetes. 

Participants have also identified several other important causes to support, including mental health services in underserved communities, empowering youth, advancing various women's health initiatives, supporting social justice initiatives, and highlighting resources to assist people affected by domestic violence. 

Player causes can be found on team websites around the league. A number of athletes, and their teams, are also sharing their stories on X - formerly Twitter - using the hashtag "#MyCauseMyCleats."

Let's take a closer look at some of the cleats you'll see on the field this year:

Khalil Dorsey - Detroit Lions

Anthony Walker Jr. - Cleveland Browns

Jacksonville Jaguars Unbox Their Cleats

Jahlani Tavai - New England Patriots

Feature image courtesy of the YouTube video