It’s often joked that “NFL” stands for the “No Fun League” because the National Football League seems to crack down harder on end zone celebrations and uniform violations than helmet-to-helmet hits and domestic abuse. However, the NFL hit a home run with the My Cause My Cleats campaign that will take over fields on Week 13.
Now players like Brandon Marshall, who have long fought for a platform to raise awareness for causes close to their hearts, have one.
An estimated 500 players around the league are participating in the campaign. The cleats will be auctioned off after game day to raise further funds.
The league initiative was done in conjunction with the Players Tribune, where the players could describe the message behind their designs in their own words.
Here are a few pairs of feet to look out for this week.
1. Eric Berry
The Chiefs safety won 2016 Comeback Player of the Year for battling back to the playing field after being diagnosed with cancer. Now on the field he has cleats that further the story of his fight against cancer and help raise awareness for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
2. Greg Olsen
Greg Olsen kept his family the focus as his cleats were inspired by his son, T.J. Olsen’s cleats raise awareness for congenital heart defect detection and the HEARTest Yard initiative.
3. Dak Prescott
Dak Prescott’s connection to his deceased mother is so strong he still calls her old phone number and leaves voicemails for her. His Adidas cleats are understated, simple and to the point.
4. Von Miller
This look is inspired by Miller’s Von’s Vision charity, which helps to raise funds for young kids who need to wear glasses, like Von did.
5. DeAngelo Williams
DeAngelo Williams has been trying to push the envelope with the colour pink for a while in honour of multiple women in his family who have battled cancer, including his mother. Williams has dyed the tips of his trademark dreads pink, and this week he gets to put a pink message on his cleats.
6. Chris Long
Long is raising awareness around clean water in Tanzania via his foundation and Waterboys.
Chris Long on Twitter
7. Devon Still
Famous for his strength both on the field and off it in support of his daughter Leah’s battle with cancer, Still shows off lots of pink with his fresh cleats.
8. Devonta Freeman
Freeman is hoping to inspire the children of Atlanta with his cleats.
9. Matt Ryan
The Atlanta QB gives back to a local charity, supporting Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta on his footwear.
10. Richard Sherman
The cover corner has cleats promoting his Blanket Coverage charity that raises money for underprivileged kids to get the school supplies they need.