This week, several Buccaneers players will be wearing custom cleats to show a little of their personality and a lot of their support.
In one of the better marketing moves made by the NFL, ‘My Cause, My Cleats’ is a favorite week of mine. Players on the Buccaneers roster, and across the NFL, will get to break most of the league’s equipment rules this week to show support for various organizations and causes.
I don’t know if every player is taking advantage of this, but there certainly are a good amount.
The team has been joining the players in getting their messages out there. Some have taken to social media to bring theirs to life. I looked in both places, and the following are just some of the contributions from Bucs this weekend.
The All-Pro defensive tackle gives a shout-out to his childhood with his appreciation of the difficulties experienced in single parent homes.
As a father, I can say raising a family is hard enough sometimes with the dedicated partner I have found in my Wife. I couldn’t imagine doing it without her.
It’s a silent battle often times as many of those in this situation make it look easier outside their homes while the good fight continues inside it.
On one side of each cleat there is a depiction of ‘Super Mom’ and ‘Super Dad’ in full on hero mode. On the alternate side of each shoe, the same parent with the love of their children glowing in their eyes as they battle everyday problems.
It’s a touching tribute, and has an obvious flare of McCoy’s own personality with the comic book design.
It’s Bakers first year as a Buccaneers player, but not his first making a difference with the opportunity he’s gotten.
Knowledge is power, so they say, and Baker believes in this mentality completely.
His foundation is the vehicle he uses to reach out to youth in Connecticut and in Washington DC where he played for the Redskins for five seasons prior to joining Tampa Bay.
Using free youth camps, establishing literacy programs, and providing mentorship to his benefactors, this player is ensuring his legacy just begins when he steps off the field.
Racial tensions have been a major part of the last two NFL seasons, and the Buccaneers were not immune to it either.
On two occasions, wide receiver Mike Evans took a knee to demonstrate his displeasure with perceived injustices in our country.
His cleats this weekend will show his efforts to help bridge these gaps with the simply stated, “Sideline Racism”, painted onto his shoes.
The Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) is described on their website as,
“..an unprecedented alliance of professional sports leagues, organizations, athletes, educators, media networks, and sports professionals using sports to bring people together..”
At the end of the day, we may not all understand each other’s strife and struggles, but we can all work towards a more unified tomorrow.
His cause is just this, and Evans’ cleats are a beautiful representation of this message.
The Buccaneers quarterback is no stranger to working with kids, and as he makes his return to the field, he’ll bring his Dream Forever Foundation with him.
He’ll have another partner though too. JDRF works to help find ways to improve the lives of people battling type 1 diabetes (T1D).
According to their website JDRF.org, the organization is the leading funder for T1D research.
They envision a world without the affliction and are working to accelerate life-changing steps towards treatment and curing of this terrible disease.
These aren’t all of the Buccaneers wearing special cleats today. Find the rest on the team’s website, and click each image to get a little background on why each player chose the designs and causes they did.
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Which ones are your favorite? Let me know in the comments, on Facebook, or find me on Twitter. Also find me now as one half of the Locked on Bucs podcast team, with episodes airing Monday – Friday every week of the 2017 NFL Season.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and Go Bucs!