One of the most creative, fun and ethically important things the NFL has done in modern times is the creation of the annual My Cause My Cleats campaign. This player-led program began in 2016 and provides a yearly opportunity for players to showcase and bring awareness to organizations and causes that are important to them.
In total, 41 Atlanta Falcons players are participating this year and have selected causes to represent on their cleats for Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This year, quarterback Matt Ryan is representing the At-Promise Youth & Community Center in Atlanta.
“This is a spot that last year Sarah and I raised some money for what we’re calling the ATL Project, and as a result of it, so many people were generous, we raised quite a bit of money and have turned it into a foundation,” Ryan said via a statement from the team. “Part of what we talked about at that time was investing in at-risk spots in Atlanta. The first place that we decided to donate to was the At-Promise Center,” Ryan said this week via a team press release. “They do a great job providing after-school programs for kids and putting them in spots to be successful.
“COVID has been a struggle for lots of after-school programs in the city. We’re just trying to support them where we can, and I’m excited about it. We really feel like we’ve got a good foundation to support already existing organizations that might need a little bit of help, to continue to do some of the things that they’ve done particularly with the stresses of the last year and a half, so I’m excited to represent them this week.”
40 other Falcons players are representing causes that are important to them on Sunday, and you can view pictures of some of them below.
On Sunday against the Buccaneers, you’ll be able to see the full selection of causes and organizations on display via creative footwear designs. Below is a list of causes that every participating player will be representing:
- Josh Andrews - Project Sleep
- Willie Beavers - American Cancer Society
- Christian Blake - American Diabetes Foundation
- Jonathan Bullard - American Cancer Society (NCCRT)
- John Cominsky - Cominsky Family Foundation
- Brandon Copeland - Beyond the Basics, Inc.
- Mike Davis - Prostate Cancer Foundation / Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
- Emmanuel Ellerbee - Bee’s Believers
- Dante Fowler, Jr. - American Cancer Society
- Russell Gage - Shoes That Fit
- Wayne Gallman - The Tender Foundation
- Ta’Quon Graham - National Cancer Society / St. Jude
- Richie Grant - Drawchange
- Darren Hall - Wilderness Works
- Marvin Hall - Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
- Duron Harmon - Autism Speaks
- Erik Harris - Having Faith / Parker’s Way Foundation
- Josh Harris - Chase the Victory
- Matt Hennessy - Hayden Hurst Foundation
- Hayden Hurst - TopDogg K9 / Hayden Hurst Foundation
- Grady Jarrett - Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
- Deion Jones - Young Authors Publishing
- Chris Lindstrom - Best Buddies Georgia
- Kaleb McGary - American Diabetes Association / National Multiple Sclerosis Society
- Steven Means - YELLS (Youth Empowerment through Learning, Leading and Serving)
- Fabian Moreau - Alzheimer’s Association
- Isaiah Oliver - Caris Sports Foundation
- Foye Oluokun - Life for Life Academy (St. Louis)
- Cordarrelle Patterson - Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness
- Kyle Pitts - Boys and Girls Club (Philadelphia)
- John Raine - Food for the Poor
- Josh Rosen - Sierra Club Foundation
- Anthony Rush - Atlanta Children’s Shelter
- Matt Ryan - At-Promise Youth & Community Center
- Tajae Sharpe - BEAM (Black Emotional and Mental Health) Organization
- Kendall Sheffield - Susan G. Komen Foundation
- Lee Smith - P.U.N.T. Foundation Buffalo N.Y.
- A.J. Terrell - Ace Trilogy
- Austin Trammell - Alex’s Lemonade Stand
- James Vaughters - NOMA (National Organization of Minority Architects)
- Mykal Walker - Women’s and Children’s Alliance
To learn more about causes and stories throughout the NFL, visit www.nfl.com/mycausemycleats