In 2016, the NFL started a great initiative called My Cause, My Cleats, for which players are invited to wear custom cleats for one week of the season in support of a charity that’s meaningful to them. In 2016, Bengals players including Carlos Dunlap, Tyler Eifert, Brandon LaFell, Adam Jones and Andy Dalton took advantage of the opportunity to shed light on foundations with which they work.
The NFL is continuing My Cause, My Cleats in Week 13 and many Bengals players are once again getting involved to shed light on meaningful initiatives. Here’s a look at some of the cleats Bengals players will be wearing on Monday Night Football against the Steelers and the causes they’ll be representing.
MJ 93-90 Fund, a Michael Johnson Foundation
“Racism is learned. I feel like if we take the time to learn more about each other's backgrounds, we can work through these differences and reach a common goal of safety and understanding,” Johnson said via the NFL.
USA Today wrote about Johnson’s cause, too, which is an educational initiative to bring children and police officers together. Johnson has been hosting events all season in which he does just that, the most recent of which took place on Veteran’s Day.
#Bengals DE Michael Johnson held his 2nd annual police and community relations event yesterday for Veterans Day, placing flags at graves of former soldiers while sending letters to troops overseas. pic.twitter.com/hgcmEep9Oc— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonCMG) November 10, 2017
Hodan Community Services
"My sister-in-law inspired me to get involved with Hodamn Community Services, which helps people with special needs achieve their goals," Erickson said.
The Andy & Jordan Dalton Foundation
“The mission of The Andy & Jordan Dalton Foundation is to provide daily support, opportunities, resources and life-changing experiences to serious ill and physically challenged children and their families in Cincinnati and Fort Worth,” Dalton said.
The names seen on his cleats below are those of some of the kids he's met and grown to know through his foundation. You can’t see it here, but inside the soles there are more names of children his foundation has helped. (h/t Laurel Pfahler)
When @andydalton14 takes the field tonight he’ll be playing for this team, this city, and some very important names from the @ajdfoundation on his cleats.#MyCauseMyCleats #PITvsCIN #Bengals50 pic.twitter.com/cAvw1wi796— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) December 4, 2017
“This cause inspires me to fight for freedom for the women of India who were once sex trafficked and give them jobs we create,” Rey said.
The Carlos Dunlap Foundation, Dunlap’s Bully-Free Zone
#MyCauseMyCleats Take A Stand Against Bullying! ~60% of kids and teens today have been bullied in school or victims of Cyber Bullying. More then 45% of kids never report it! 2 kids in my community’s that I call home now and my hometown decided to take there own lives because of Bullying. This is Why I Take A Stand! #dunlapsbullyfreezone #Antibullying #BullyProof #ChooseKind S/o @eztaughtme for the cleats
You can watch a video about Dunlap’s foundation here and why he’s wearing these cleats.
K9s For Warriors
Tyler Eifert won't be playing on Monday as he's on Injured Reserve, but he is raising awareness for K9s for Warriors, a charity that works to help veterans suffering from PTSD. You can help the cause by donating here to help a veteran adopt a trained dog.
While I can't wear cleats on the field this Sunday, I still want to make a difference for @k9sforwarriors, a charity helping the lives of veterans suffering from PTSD. Help us reach our goal of $15k to adopt a trained dog! Donate here https://t.co/PM7oIKIHbK #MyCauseMyCleats pic.twitter.com/WUwLsiM6Wf— Tyler Eifert (@tylereifert) December 2, 2017
“Military veterans are a group of people I respect more than anybody. To show my support and help those fighting for our country, I have been supporting the K9s For Warriors charity. Something that many people in our country overlook are the negative affects war has on the individuals putting their lives on the line for our freedom,” Eifert wrote on the You Caring campaign website.
LaFell Group, Speech Delay Awareness
The LaFell Group creates unique educational and enrichment opportunities to improve the quality of life in the community through education, fitness, and mentoring for at risk children and their families. The LaFell Group is dedicated to helping develop responsible and educated citizens in our community. The foundation is specifically focused on bringing Awareness to the challenge many of our children are facing with Speech Delay.
Strikes for Charity
In 2017 Chris Smith started the inaugural Strikes for Charity Bowl. The charity bowling event sees proceeds going to the Boys and Girls Club of Charlotte and West Rowan High School in Salisbury, NC. Smith attended West Rowan high school, which you can see is called out on his shoes.
My Cause My Cleats!!! pic.twitter.com/f0SrusqYw9— christopher smith (@98ChrisSmith) December 3, 2017
21 Kids Foundation
Kirkpatrick launched the 21 Kids Foundation a few years ago in an effort to motivate youth in his hometown of Gadsden City, Alabama and the surrounding areas. Here’s more from The Gadsden Times:
The foundation’s goals are to improve public health, promote educational opportunities and enhance community development efforts. It also wants to create and sustain a healthy environment for the mental health community and assist youth in improving their academic and athletic abilities. The foundation also will provide scholarships to college-bound students.
William Jackson III
Angel By Nature, Hurricane Harvey Relief
Angel By Nature is dedicated to improving life for individuals who have been affected by hardship and impoverishment, especially the underserved youth, according to their website. Rapper Trae Tha Truth is the founder of Angel By Nature and makes contributions to the City of Houston community. Jackson is from Houston and is dedicated to the cause.
#MyCauseMyCleats, In support of the #HurricaneHarveyReliefEfforts and the ones that are still going strong in helping the recovery process!!!@reliefgang x @traeabn x @djmrrogers x @therealtrillionaires you are much appreciated!!! #HurricaneRelief#hoUSton#AngelByNature pic.twitter.com/D5dMlc2pM7— WJ lll (@fantastik_willo) December 4, 2017
This post will be updated as more Bengals players reveal the cleats they’ll be wearing for My Cause, My Cleats.