Mac Jones is still new to New England. While he has certainly found his footing on the football field, when it comes to charitable ventures, Jones is beginning to dip his toes in the proverbial water, starting with My Cause My Cleats.
My Cause My Cleats is an NFL initiative that allows players, coaches and staff to represent organizations that matter the most to them through customized cleats. After Week 13, all of the cleats will be available to buy through NFL Auction with all proceeds going to the respective non-profits.
When Jones steps onto the field on Dec. 6, he will be representing Boston Children's Hospital with bright blue cleats. In addition to the BCH name, one cleat reads "Be Brave," while the other carries the name of a new friend, Robbie.
Robbie is a 7-year-old boy living with hemophilia A, a bleeding disorder where his blood doesn't clot properly. He is a bubbly, active and determined kid who loves to play golf and tennis, as well as swimming, but Robbie isn't cleared to play organized football, one of his favorite sports.
If Robbie can't be out there playing himself, being out there with Jones in spirit is the next best thing.
While they haven't met just yet, Jones wanted to make sure Robbie is a prominent part of his My Cause My Cleats.
"It's going to be great because I'll eventually get a chance to meet him and hang out with him and all that," Jones said. "For now, I just wanted to make sure I had something you know, for my cause my cleats … to kind of represent him and show that I'm playing for him because he can't play football. It seems like he's just a real fighter."
Robbie is, in fact, a fighter. Despite being in and out of the hospital, he always has a smile on my face and is ready to help others. To have "Be Brave" on Jones's cleats in addition to his name is just fitting.
Though Jones is just getting started with his charitable efforts in New England, working with children's hospitals isn't new for him. When he was at the University of Alabama, he grew close to Zay, a 14-year-old boy who was battling cancer when they met. Zay passed away in February, but Jones still carries that bond with him. He's hoping to build the same kind of friendships here in Boston that he had with Zay.
"This is another chance for me to show that relationship that I'm willing to build with somebody and I think it just is important to realize your situation as an NFL player, you're healthy and happy. And there's other people out there who would love to do what you do. And I think this is a good way to bridge the gap between the kids who are battling every day, like us."
Given his history working with children's hospitals, BCH was an obvious choice. With the season still in full swing, Jones said this is just the start of their relationship with the hospital and, of course, with Robbie and his family.
"There's a children's hospital everywhere, but I think Boston's is very important with what they do," Jones said. "They're one of the best in the world. I'm going to get a chance to get even more involved, but I think this will help bridge the gap this season."
As a rookie, Jones is, of course, participating in My Cause My Cleats for the first time, and he is simply excited about what it'll mean to walk out onto the field Monday night against the Bills representing BCH and Robbie.
"This one's going to mean a lot. Being in Boston is a cool situation for me, where I'm kind of new to the city. I just wanted to be able to help somebody that's from around the area, show I care," Jones said. "Honestly, I'll be playing for something bigger than myself, just like a lot of other players are doing so. I think it's a really cool opportunity."
You can check out Jones's, as well as the rest of the participating Patriots, cleats in the gallery below.
For the sixth straight season, the New England Patriots are participating in the NFL's 'My Cause My Cleats' campaign, which gives both players and coaches the opportunity to wear cleats that are designed to promote a cause important to them. Here's a look at the Patriots' custom cleats.