My Cause My Cleats is an NFL initiative where players can showcase causes that are close to their hearts with custom cleats. The Patriots will wear their custom cleats when they take on the Kansas City Chiefs on Dec. 8, and Patriots.com is taking a look at some of the causes they are choosing to support. Some of these cleats will be available for auction after the game through the NFL.
Danny Shelton is the dog dad of four, and while he doesn't play favorites, there was a first. Moni was the first dog Shelton adopted when he was just a sophomore in college. Moni is a sweet older "sister," a loving pet and a pit bull.
Pit bulls are often discriminated against, being stereotyped as a violent and aggressive breed of dog. Stand Up for Pits is aiming to end that discrimination, as well as pit bull abuse, and on Sunday, Shelton will shine a light on the cause.
"I've always been a big pit bull lover and I've always wanted to help," Shelton said. "The only way I could help was by going to shelters and showing love to pit bulls. I finally decided this year to choose Stand Up for Pits as my cause and take part in My Cause My Cleats."
The negative stereotype pinned on pit bulls couldn't be further from the truth for Moni, and when he takes the field on Sunday, Shelton hopes people learn to see past that narrative.
"She is just a sweetheart," he said. "She's like our babysitter. She loves our son. She's kind of like the big sister of the group. She knows that she can't hang with them as far as running around and stuff because they're all too young for her. She's just playful, loving and I've always just known that pit bulls were misunderstood."
From the jump, Moni would come to class with Shelton. She sat in a duffle bag at his feet, poking her head out to the delight of professors and classmates. Whether it was in the classroom or in the nursery with the Sheltons' baby son, Moni has maintained a sweet and gentle demeanor, and Shelton wants the world to know pit bulls are no different than any other dog.
"I just tried to promote how positive pit bulls were," Shelton said. "It all depends on the owner. I just told myself from day one that I'm going to make sure I do everything I can to break that stereotype they have."
As for his cleats, it's not just Moni being celebrated. Juicy, Mojo and Juju also join their sister on shoes, and Shelton loved them so much, he had a second pair made so he could keep them.
"I felt like a little kid on Christmas day. I got to see my kids on my shoes, Stand Up for Pits on it," he said. "It's my first time taking part in My Cause My Cleats, so I didn't know what to expect, but these came out awesome."
Players across league during Week 14 games are wearing custom-made cleats reflecting their commitment to charitable causes that are important to them as part of the NFL's "My Cause My Cleats" campaign. Here's a look at some of the New England Patriots cleats and causes.