‘My Cause, My Cleats:’ Check out what Detroit Lions players will be sporting and supporting this week
ALLEN PARK — The Detroit Lions will be rocking custom cleats for charity against the Minnesota Vikings on Week 13 at Ford Field.
This is the NFL’s “My Cause, My Cleats” Week, meaning players choose charities with the option to auction off those custom kicks to support the organization, cause, or cause of their choice.
“Players will have the opportunity to raise money for their cause by auctioning their cleats at the NFL Auction; 100 percent of the money raised will be donated to the player’s charities,” the NFL wrote. “Fans can bid on game-issued player shoes to help players raise money for their chosen causes.”
See below for an overview of the causes and custom cleats of some Lions players ahead of this weekend’s game. We’ll also go through a list of those not pictured:
S Tracy Walker (Black Lives Matter): “It’s me who just keeps on talking about my cousin. I’ve kind of done that over the past year, so I’ll continue to bring his name up with conviction with everything that’s going on with all of that. I just felt like that was another way to push his name out and basically just represent him and everything he stood for. That’s kind of what the whole plot and theme of my cleats was. They have Black Lives Matter, it goes without saying, like I said. I know everyone says that all lives matter, but in that situation I want to represent my cousin.”
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TE TJ Hockenson (Warrior Rising): Hockenson’s charity supports U.S. military veterans, with its cleats inspired by his personal friends who served. Warrior Rising “empowers U.S. military veterans and their immediate family members by providing them with opportunities to establish sustainable businesses, perpetuating the hiring of fellow U.S. veterans.”
OLB Charles Harris (Tyler Scott Lancaster Foundation): Harris focuses on diabetes awareness and prevention through the Tyler Scott Lancaster Foundation. The Canton, Ohio-based organization honors former Tyler Lancaster, a former Muskingum and Michigan State University football player who lost his life to diabetes in 2017.
OLB Trey Flowers (The Cave of Adullam Transformational Training Academy): CATTA of the Yunion is a Detroit-based charity that focuses on “countering negative cultural influences that misdirect youth’s lives”.
OL Will Holden (Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital in Vanderbilt): “The Children’s Hospital is close to our hearts as my wife and I went to Vanderbilt and my wife currently works there. In the past 10 years, the number of new cancer patients at the Children’s Hospital has more than tripled,” Holden said.
S Jalen Elliott (Boys & Girls Club): Elliott has been involved with the Boys & Girls Club of America since his days at Notre Dame.
“I want to be there for them physically and show them that they can do whatever they want,” he said.
WR Trinity Benson (Colon Cancer Education): Benson’s mother, Debra Benson, is a stage 3 colon cancer survivor. The “DB” on his cleats represents her initials. The recipient also supported colon cancer awareness during My Cause, My Cleats while with the Denver Broncos.
WR Kalif Raymond (Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Massachusetts): “There are so many talented and wonderful children in the world. With some advice, guidance or even listening you can go a long way. I was lucky enough to be a part of that at Holy Cross,” said Raymond.
OL Matt Nelson (I Know Jack): Nelson’s charity honors his hometown friend Jack Hoeger, who has been battling brain cancer since childhood. Hoeger, now 22, has developed a special bond with the Lions offensive lineman, which is highlighted in this Detroit Free Press feature worth watching.
LB Anthony Pittman (Financial Assistance for Renaissance Men): Anthony Pittman chose Detroit-based charity FARM that focused on developing father-son relationships. Pittman is a native of Detroit and a former pinnacle of Wayne State University.
DL Michael Brockers (Brockers Youth Foundation): “I want to show the youth that a man can come from the inner city — next to no one — and make it to the competition. It’s a lot of sanding. It’s going to suck, but if you persevere and have a lot of integrity, you’re going to make it,” Brockers said through the team.
QB Jared Goff (Give Merit Inc.): “Give Merit is committed to uplifting and empowering the youth of Detroit, which is exactly what I’m focused on. It was a natural fit,” Goff said.
CB Jeff Okudah and RB Jamaal Williams (St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital): St Jude’s Research Hospital focuses on advancing treatments and prevention tools for catastrophic childhood diseases. Their mission statement states that no child will be denied treatment on the basis of race, religion or economic status.