When the Philadelphia Eagles visit Green Bay on Sunday, close to two dozen players will be sporting fresh cleats.
The fancy footwear is part of the annual NFL initiative “My Cause My Cleats,” which features custom-designed game cleats that raise awareness of causes close to the hearts of its players.
Many participating players choose national-facing organizations they care about. Others select philanthropic endeavors in their hometowns. A handful of Eagles players, though, are giving back to organizations in the Philly area.
Among them is wide receiver Jalen Reagor, whose cleats will represent Philly’s Black Men Heal. The nonprofit provides free mental health services for Black men and aims to end the stigma associated with seeking treatment.
“Thank you for believing in what we do,” Black Men Heal wrote of Reagor, who it applauded for being a mental health advocate.
In Seattle, Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar will also be representing Black Men Heal with his cleats.
On special teams, kicker Jake Elliott and punter Cam Johnston are showcasing local animal rescue organizations.
Elliott is highlighting Philly’s Street Tails Animal Rescue, which helps find forever homes for the city’s homeless pets. The kicker’s cleats feature illustrations of his two dogs, Roxy and Willy, both of whom were rescued in Philly.
“We cannot thank Jake & wife Annie enough for their continued support,” Street Tails wrote in an Instagram post, “and for being wonderful advocates for homeless animals everywhere.”
Johnston is promoting the Pennsylvania SPCA, a nonprofit that the punter has supported all season with his “Punts for Puppies” initiative. For every punt the Eagles down inside the 20-yard-line, Johnston covers the adoption fee for a dog at the PSPCA. Johnston’s dog Bella, a puppy mill survivor, was rescued from the nonprofit.
Other Eagles participants include quarterback Jalen Hurts, who is supporting Montgomery County-based Alex’s Lemonade Stand. The foundation funds pediatric cancer research.
Running back Corey Clement is highlighting Philly-based music nonprofit Rock to the Future, which offers free student-driven music programs to young people in Philadelphia.
Tight end Zach Ertz will be repping his own charity, the Ertz Family Foundation, and its involvement in “The Philly Bridge” initiative — which was designed to provide alternative activities and mentorship opportunities to young people amid the coronavirus pandemic and the city’s rising gun violence. The program was created after the shooting death of Philadelphia teen and youth football player Angelo Walker.
The game-day cleats feature the work of local customizers, as well as Nike, Under Armour and Adidas, according to the team. Many players ultimately auction off their cleats and donate the funds to the charities they chose.
Jeffrey Lurie, the Eagles’ chairman and CEO, said he was “deeply inspired” by the players’ year-round commitment to creating positive social change.
“This transformational work is amplified every year by the My Cause My Cleats initiative,” Lurie added, “which leverages our league’s national stage to raise awareness and critical funds for these very important player causes.”
When the Eagles (3-7-1) host the New Orleans Saints (9-2) at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday, Dec. 13, Eagles coaches and staff will join the My Cause My Cleats efforts by sporting custom Eagles Autism Foundation sneakers in support of the team’s ongoing efforts to raise money for autism research and programs.
But first, the Birds face the Packers (8-3) at 4:25 p.m.
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