NFL: My Cause, My Cleats Returns in Support of Charities
“MyCauseMyCleats” encourages football players from all 32 NFL teams to wear custom-designed cleats. This past week the NFL and fans worldwide watched athletes put their “best foot forward” once more. What a positive way to draw attention to the causes and charities that are important to them! http://NFL Players’ Causes Take the Field With My Cause, My Cleats
One of three cause-related programs endorsed by the NFL, “MyCauseMyCleats” appeared for the second consecutive year. No player gets a fine for altering their attire while participating in any of them.
“Breast Cancer Awareness” was the start. Every October fans see players donning pink towels and wristbands. Cancer and its many forms affect so many families.
November brings the “Salute to Service” tribute. This campaign honors our military forces and their families. The members of each branch give so much for this country. Unfortunately, oftentimes it is the ultimate sacrifice.
Personally, I think “MyCauseMyCleats” is a pretty cool campaign. Players can promote a specific cause individually or all take part as one. Ideas and artwork are often submitted by kids who these diseases or conditions affect. Players get in on the design aspect, too. The league then collects the cleats after each game, with many being auctioned off. The athletes direct which organization receives the proceeds.
Some players have their own foundations yet many support charities and organizations already in existence. Associations such as the American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association will be in the forefront. Organizations supporting the Autism Society, the Make A Wish Foundation, Special Olympics, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital will also be evident. However, these are just a handful of the MANY programs that receive recognition.
The military will see the Pat Tillman Foundation and Wounded Warrior Project. Victims of violence, most recently #VegasStrong, will be acknowledged. Additionally, mental health, social injustice, education, and literacy will see their causes on someone’s feet. You name it, it is a subject that is going to garner publicity.
Because I am a Chargers fan, it was interesting to see what some of the Bolts’ players chose.
Antonio Gates honors his sister by supporting the Lupus Foundation of America.
Hunter Henry: End It Movement (a coalition to stop human trafficking)
Joey Bosa: More than 4 (pediatric cancer awareness)
Melvin Gordon: Jockey Being Family (funds and helps adoptive support and resources)
Branden Oliver: No Bully Zone (anti-bullying)
Melvin Ingram: Melvin Ingram’s Mission Possible Foundation (Single-Parent Households)
Casey Hayward: Hayward’s Hands Foundation (Improving Lives of the Less Fortunate)
Damion Square: Hip 2B Square Foundation (Empowering Impoverished Youth)
It is inspiring to read the stories about why a specific cause means so much to one person. Seeing smiles of relief and helping to make a difficult situation a little easier even in the short-term is the goal of these organizations and charities. The fans get an opportunity to understand that these men are more than just “that guy” we watch from August through February. Many of them recount how their own lives could have turned out so much worse. Gratefully they represent those causes that resonate with them.
It is a feel-good story that the NFL as a whole should continue to embrace. Thus, let the players wear their specialized cleats the entire month of December. In fact, what better time of year to garner support for just the handful of life’s maladies?
Kudos, gentlemen. Kudos.