By Romi Bean
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4)– When the Denver Broncos players take the field in Cincinnati this Sunday, their cleats will be much more colorful than usual. That’s because players will be showcasing charities that are near and dear to their hearts – on their feet through the NFL’s “My Cause, My Cleats” initiative.
“My great Aunt Freddie died from breast cancer when I was a sophomore in college. She was the backbone of our family,” Shelby Harris said of his cleat design dedicated to cancer awareness.
“This is my friend Tyler Hilinski, who committed suicide earlier this year. His family started this foundation, Hilinski’s Hope,” River Cracraft said of his custom designed cleats, which are aimed at bringing awareness to the mental health of student athletes.
This is third year of the NFL’s “My Cause, My Cleats” initiative, and this year players will have more than just one chance to spread the word about causes that matter most to them. The NFL has expanded the program from one week to three weeks, giving the players a bigger platform to bring awareness to their causes.
“It’s really cool,” Broncos linebacker Shane Ray said. “The NFL backing off on ‘uniform patrol’ and allowing us to have our voices heard is huge. And we appreciate it.”
Ray’s teammate, Shelby Harris added, “It’s nice, you get to find out who we are as people, not just football players.”
If there is a pair of cleats you love, you can get your hands on them and give back at the same time. Fans will be able to bid on some of the cleats at nflauction.nfl.com. A total of 100 percent of the funds raised will be donated to the players’ charities.