NFL players show off 2022 'My Cause, My Cleats' footwear

ByJeremy Willis ESPN logo
Friday, December 2, 2022

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The NFL's annual #MyCauseMyCleats weekend has arrived. It's the one weekend of the season where players can wear shoes that are not team-specific and within the NFL's uniform rules.

Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson will be supporting the V Foundation with cleats in Denver's game against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. Like many others, Wilson's life has been touched by cancer. Wilson's friend and business partner Trevor Moawad died from cancer in 2021.

Wilson and his wife, Ciara, are also on the V Foundation's board. His cleats, which also support Wilson's own Why Not You Foundation, features a part of Jim Valvano's iconic ESPYS speech with "Don't ever give up," written on the toes of the shoes.

Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton is also wearing cleats to support the V Foundation. He will wear one pink cleat and one gray cleat to symbolize breast and brain cancer awareness. Bolton's mother and sister are both cancer survivors. The dates on the shoes are the days his family members were declared cancer free.

For the Houston Texans, their wide receivers are honoring someone in their own locker room. John Metchie III was an All-SEC receiver for the Alabama Crimson Tide. He had 14 career scores and won the 2021 College Football Playoff Championship. In July, Metchie announced he would sit out his rookie season after being diagnosed with leukemia.

The Texans' 2022 second-round pick was diagnosed in late July with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) prior to training camp. Despite not playing, Metchie is still around the Texans' facilities training even as he undergoes treatment.

His teammates will wear customized orange cleats on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. Orange is the color which represents leukemia awareness.

"When you come into the locker room, and given everything that you're going through, man, all we can do is just tip our hat," Texans receiver Brandin Cooks said of Metchie. "Any way we can fight this battle with you, we just want to bring awareness and just tell you 'thank you' from the bottom of our hearts. We don't say that lightly. We love you, and keep inspiring us in everything that you're doing. You know we've got your back, every step of the way."

Here are some of the other cleats and causes for this weekend's games:

ESPN NFL Nation reporter DJ Bien-Aime contributed to this story.

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