National Football League (NFL) players demonstrated some fancy footwork during the 2021-2022 season and supported causes close to their hearts in the process.
As part of the league’s annual My Cause My Cleats campaign, players wore customized cleats to show their commitment to charitable organizations, including causes supporting multiple sclerosis (MS). The NFL then auctioned off selected cleats — some of which sold for thousands of dollars — and donated 100 percent of the proceeds to the causes chosen by the players.
Christian Barmore, a defensive tackle for the New England Patriots, wore cleats to show his commitment to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. His custom cleats sold for $850 as part of the online auction. His choice was in honor of his mother, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when he was a child.
“I've seen the pain they go through,” Barmore told Patriots.com. “Taking needles every day to keep them healthy, can't be in the heat for a long time because it might trigger them. I'm doing this because of my mom.”
Barmore was not the only player raising MS awareness. Three other players also supported causes related to multiple sclerosis:
“My Cause My Cleats gives all players across the league the opportunity to represent the causes nearest to their hearts,” Christina Hovestadt, community relations manager of the NFL, told MyMSTeam. “Many of these players spend their off time volunteering and helping to fundraise for these causes and organizations and it’s important that they get to share that through this initiative on the field.”
The custom cleats represent just one initiative the NFL has undertaken to support philanthropic efforts. Players also shared why they chose specific charitable causes through an online storytelling platform, in partnership with The Players’ Tribune.