The Patriots are always looking to Celebrate Volunteerism, so it's no surprise your players jumped at the chance to represent their charities of choice as part of an NFL wide initiative. The My Cause, My Cleats initiative is an opportunity for players across the NFL to customize cleats to raise awareness for the charities and foundations about which they are passionate.
Some Patriots and their causes were featured on the Players' Tribune earlier this season, and they will debut them on Dec. 4 when the Patriots host the Rams. Chris Long, Devin McCourty, Rob Ninkovich, Logan Ryan, Dont'a Hightower, Martellus Bennett, Nate Solder and Joe Cardona will all be rocking their own custom cleats and showing the world what causes mean the most to them.
Chris will be representing his organization, Waterboys, which builds wells to provide villages in east Africa clean water. Waterboys has representatives from around the league who raise awareness and money for the cause. A handful of Chris's friends around the league will be wearing cleats in honor of the foundation, including Rob Ninkovich.
Joe will honor veterans, fallen soldiers and their families by representing the Travis Manion Foundation. The organization was founded as a way for the legacy of Travis Manion, who was killed in Iraq in 2007, to live on, and Joe was exposed to the foundation while he attend the Naval Academy. Joe said he feels personal connections to Travis and Brendan Looney, a Navy SEAL killed in action in 2010, because of their shared background at the Naval Academy, and the opportunity to honor heroes like Travis and Brendan, while helping Gold Star families, made this organization stand out.
"It is something I was exposed to, and the opportunity to represent them was something I was looking forward to ... The Travis Manion Foundation works to support the families of fallen heroes, and that is a very important and a very big deal for me. Being a military child, I never had to go through that, but I can only imagine how hard it must be," Joe said.
Devin and his twin brother Jason have been outspoken in their fight against sickle cell, and both will be rocking custom cleats to honor their Tackle Sickle Cell initiative on Sunday. With the disease impacting their family directly, Devin and Jason have used their platform in the NFL to raise awareness and money, and through their Tackle Sickle Cell iniative, the twins have been able to shine a light on how the disease affects people across the country.
Similar to Devin, Dont'a's personal ties to diabetes pushed him to become an advocate for the American Diabetes Association. When his mother was diagnosed, Dont'a began talking about her struggles, doing research and even took a trip to Washington D.C. this offseason to speak with members of Congress and urge for legislation to help fight the disease. On Sunday, he will take this fight to the field with My Cause, My Cleats.
Marty took to Instagram to show off his colorful and animated cleats to raise awareness for and launch his "Uncle Smarty Foundation." While details would be "coming soon" about the foundatoin's mission and goals, it will make its premiere in the spotlight and against the Rams.
Nate will be rocking cleats that were hand painted by artist Brian Fox to raise awareness for former Patriots foundatin. The Joe Andruzzi Foundation was created to help give financial aid to cancer patients and their families so they can focus on healing rather than worrying how they would pay their medical bills. Joe, Nate and the Solder family have courageously faced their own personal battles with cancer, and these cleats reflect the strength of those fighting.
While the charities your Patriots are passionate about run the gamut from disease prevention to global clean water efforts, each one is crucial and close to the hearts of players on the Patriots and around the NFL. Keep an eye out on Sunday for the final product of your Patriots custom cleats as they shift the spotlight to creating positive impacts across the country and around the world.
Check out more photos of the Patriots custom cleats in the gallery below.
*This post has been updated to include Martellus Bennett and Nate Solder's cleats for Sunday's game. *
The 'My Cause My Cleats' initiative is an opportunity for players across the NFL to customize and wear cleats during Week 13 to raise awareness for the charities and foundations about which they are passionate.