It’s a Bird, It’s a plane, It’s……Cleats for a Cause?

Chicago Bears Key Contributor

By Emily Gallizo @emgchae

Many of you are aware of the big moves our favorite players are making on the field but not off the field. In week 13, players showed their dedication to these causes by sporting them on their cleats throughout the game.

Although football may be some of our favorite modes of entertainment we forget that they are people too with their own individual stories that shape who they are today. Being a nurse people expect me to care, and I overly do, but forget that the love in the world is spread through many other professions.

These men care, and have passions for people, and charities unrelated to football. They are working to raise awareness, and be the voice of change. This campaign trended on social media with “#mycausemycleats”. Through this hashtag our teams and players sent pictures to give everyone the optimal view of what they support.

This campaign is not a one-day thing; these players have worked alongside the NFL in order to tell their stories of why and what started their care for the cause. Over 500 players took part in supporting their own causes and sporting the cleats in week 13.

After designing and wearing their cleats, they will then be auctioned. The proceeds made will 100% be donated to charities chosen by each player.

Many of their stories are humbling and should remind us that we all go through different situations in life and can still come out on top if we work through it, help others, and promote doing the greatest good for all. 

Thomas Davis (Panthers): In a nutshell T Davis grew up in poverty, and in a place where people don’t make it out to do great things due to the limitations of everyday life. He created the Defending Dreams foundation to “provide hope where there is no hope, and make the impossible possible for children”. Not only do they help children but they also partner with Salvation Army to provide meals during holidays for battered women and children.

Aaron Rodgers (Packers): Aaron was inspired by a young boy he met years ago who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer at the young age of 10. In college he spent time with a child with leukemia who really inspired him to get involved. He then was introduced to MACC, which stands for Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer.

Albert Wilson (Chiefs): Subjected to multiple times in foster care, he still had his family, which taught him that people make mistakes but these come with consequences. He created the Albert Wilson foundation to help those in foster care and provide scholarships for children to better their futures with education.

DeAngelo Williams (Steelers): Growing up he was lost for hope in knowing that due to genetics his mother would get breast cancer one day. He represents the lives lost in his family to breast cancer. His cause is the DeAngelo Williams foundation which supports the research and preventive care for women across the nation.

David Johnson (Cardinals): Growing up in Iowa was a struggle for him and his family. He was scared to live, scared to walk down the street, and hindered to live everyday life. Every kid deserves to feel safe, and deserves to wake up everyday and love life. STOMP Out bullying, which promotes putting an end to bullying and teaching how to do so. 

Greg Olson (Panthers): When his son was born with a congenital heart defect it changed his life forever. He wants to spread awareness to congenital heart defects through HEARTest Yard initiative.

Brandon Marshall (Jets): Project 375 foundation, which promotes mental health awareness.

Dak Prescott (Cowboys): Colon cancer awareness in memory of his mother.

Jimmy Graham (Seahawks): Angel Flight Soars, which will provide flights for those who cannot afford it but need to seek medical treatment.

To read more of each players stories visit The Players Tribune. 

OR check out your favorite teams personal website to see what charities the players supported and why.

Watch this video of some of the cleats designed by each player.

Featured image courtesy: @PierreGarcon

Follow and chat #NFLGoodGuys with me: @emgchae

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