My Cause, My Cleats is an NFL initiative that encourages coaches and players to wear custom cleats, highlighting organizations and issues that are important to them. Patriots.com will be highlighting stories throughout the month. Many of the cleats will be put up for auction, with all proceeds benefitting the chosen charities. You can learn more about all Patriots My Cause, My Cleats here.
J.J. Taylor's professional football career has only just begun, but when his playing days are over, he already knows exactly where he wants to be: in a classroom.
He knows he can offer kids and students guidance at a pivotal time in their lives, and it's something he is passionate about.
"After football, I want to be a teacher. Not just so I can teach lessons about history and math, things like that, but to teach about life and give the younger generations tools and skills to help them out with life," Taylor said. "How to deal with situations and just to give advice about love and self-care."
With this in mind, Taylor is participating in My Cause, My Cleats to represent Stomp Out Bullying, an organization dedicated to fighting bullying and educating against homophobia, LGBTQ+ discrimination and racism while promoting inclusivity and equality.
Taylor said bullying is something most people encounter in one form or another, whether it's playground taunting, cruel comments on social media or outright bigotry, and he wants to make sure everyone makes it out the other side.
"I know a lot of people who go through the process of hatred or being bullied or being disliked just because another person decides to dislike you for whatever reason they do. I know that going through that can be very difficult," he said. "At some point in life, I believe that everyone has gone through that stage and phase, and some people don't always make it out because the hatred and all the bullying gets to be too much. Just to see that, it's something that you wish you could change and you wish you could help out in any case you can."
For young kids, this can be especially difficult to deal with, and Taylor said his advice is simple for those who may be facing bullies.
"Keep going. The life you're living right now is not always to going to be a struggle for you. God gives his greatest battles to his strongest soldiers," Taylor said. "The things that we're dealing with will pass, and it will only make you a better person."
You can look at all of the Patriots cleats in the gallery below. To place a bid on Patriots cleats, you can check out the NFL auction page here.
For the fifth 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.