Numerous Eagles players will be wearing custom cleats Sunday as part of the NFL’s My Cause My Cleats program, which allows NFL players to raise awareness of charities or foundations that are important to them through custom artwork on their game cleats.
Some 29 Eagles players are participating in the seventh annual campaign, including Jalen Hurts (OneMindSet Foundation, Eagles Autism Foundation), Lane Johnson (Waterboys), Miles Sanders (Open Door Abuse Awareness and Prevention), T.J. Edwards (Epilepsy Foundation of Eastern Pennsylvania) and Haason Reddick (Everytown for Gun Safety).
A number of players have chosen the Eagles Autism Foundation as their charity. Through the annual Eagles Autism Challenge, the Eagles Autism Foundation has raised more than $16 million for autism research.
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Hurts, the Eagles' 24-year-old MVP candidate, will be wearing cleats supporting the OneMindSet Foundation, founded by a former college teammate.
“A friend of mine, a brother of mine, a fraternity brother, Chanse Sylvie, I played with him at Oklahoma, and it was something he always had this vision of, and I always try to support when I can,” Hurts said.
“He was all about uplifting community, service in the community, and making a difference one community at a time … and I appreciate him for what he’s doing and I’m glad I support him.”
The NFL doesn’t generally give players much leeway when it comes to free expression on the field, so this is a rare opportunity for players to let fans know what’s important to them while also raising money by auctioning off their cleats.
"The platform we have as players in the National Football League allows us to reach an entire generation of people in their homes, their communities, in schools, and on the football field," Brandon Graham said. "I’m proud to join my teammates and brothers across the league as we shine a light on these important causes."
Nick Sirianni said he enjoys seeing which causes his players select and how their cleats are decorated.
“I think it's really cool,” Sirianni said. “What we know is that we have a platform to be able to inspire change in a good way, so it's interesting to see. It's just another form of connecting for me to see everybody, what's important to them. I might not always know this is important to this guy or this is important to that guy, so obviously it's cool … that these guys are using their platform to inspire change for something that they really care about.
“So I think this is a really cool thing that the NFL does. I've always thought that about this. I'm glad our guys get to put on display what kind of men they are. I really think highly of this football team and I'm obviously biased because I spend so much time with them and I love these guys, but I know we’ve got really good guys. And not just good football players but good men on this team. It's cool that they get to display that.”
The Eagles, 10-1, face the 7-4 Titans at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Linc.