Colts Players Wear Their Heart On Their Feet For My Cause My Cleats

Posted Dec 1, 2017

On Sunday, Colts players will support the charitable causes important to them by participating in the NFL's My Cause My Cleats campaign.

If you want to know what’s close to the heart of your favorite Colts player this week, just look at his feet.

During the season, the NFL highlights many causes from cancer to military service. But week 13 is an opportunity for the players to showcase the causes that are important to them with My Cause My Cleats.

And for the Colts players participating, it’s personal.

“My dad was diagnosed with brain cancer when I was going into the eighth grade. They didn’t give him much time to live. He stayed positive about it and now it’s been 12 years,” says long snapper Luke Rhodes. “He was my football coach, super fit guy, a former Marine, college football player – just like that, everything flipped upside down for him and for all of us.”

On Sunday, Rhodes will honor his dad by showcasing the National Brain Tumor Society on his custom made cleats.

For punter Rigoberto Sanchez, it’s lung cancer.

The cleats he’ll wear on Sunday will bring awareness to a disease that claimed the life of a loved one before he was old enough to remember her.

“My grandma, she passed away,” he said. “My mom always talked about her. It was rough.”

But to be able to honor her on the field during Sunday’s game in Jacksonville will be something he’ll always remember.

“Being able to do that, it feels a little bit more special – just wearing a pair of cleats to represent that.”

It will also be special for his mother.

“Very special,” he says. “It will be magical for her.”

Cancer has also touched the family of nose tackle Al Woods.

“My mother and my grandmother are both breast cancer survivors,” he says.

Inspired by his mother’s never give up attitude, on Sunday, he’ll wear pink cleats designed to raise awareness and support various causes for breast cancer research and education in honor of the women in his life.

“It’s always a good feeling to represent the fam."

Cancer crept into the family of linebacker Jeremiah George as well.

“My mom had skin cancer,” he says. “Fortunately, she was able to beat it going into my freshman year of college.”

Still, it’s a battle he’s vowed to continue to fight.

“I just feel like it’s a silent serial killer. I’ve done research on it and I’ve seen how it impacts all races, all religions – it does not care.”

George is out to dispel the myths about skin cancer.

“I just hope it brings awareness. I just hope it brings people to their senses,” he says. “The pigmentation of your skin does not matter. I’m a Florida guy, so I know in the summertime, it’s nice to have your sleeves off. But if you’re going to do that, you need to take care of yourself, put sunblock on.”

And with the Colts playing in Florida on Sunday, that’s what he’ll do.

Kids uprooted from their families are a cause near and dear to wide receiver Kamar Aiken – because he was one of those kids.

“I was in foster care for a couple years in the beginning of my life – probably 3, 4, 5 years old. I kind of understand what those kids go through and some of the stuff they have to deal with on a daily basis,” he says.

For him, it ended happily.

“I ended up going back home with my parents. I was fortunate. But that doesn’t happen in a lot of cases.”

He’s supporting Hands of Hope, an organization that specializes in adoption and orphan care ministry.

“It feels good just to give them a positive outlook. They’re so used to seeing negative stuff happen to them in their situation, so just to let them see something positive come out of that,” he says. “It’s a blessing. That’s the only way I can put it.”

For most people, Trayvon Martin was a name that spurred a national dialogue about race relations. But for linebacker Anthony Walker, it was more than a name and a face. Walker grew up playing youth football with Martin in Florida.

“We played at the same park. Down there, little league football is a very tight knit group,” he says. “This is somebody that you used to see every day, someone that you’re never going to see again.”

Walker will wear custom cleats designed for the Trayvon Martin Foundation to continue the fight for social justice.

“I’m going to wear them in the game and then give them back to his family. At the end of the day, justice should be served for every living thing. So, keep trying to bring the world together and keep raising awareness.”

Cornerback Kenny Moore II has a passion for giving back to young people.

“The youth are important to me,” he says. “I really didn’t have the greatest childhood, but my childhood means a lot to me.”

He’s inspired by kids who are born with special challenges, but don’t let those challenges prevent them from living a happy, full, and fulfilling life.

“They’re just people who are happy all the time,” he says. “I had relationships in high school with children who had special needs.”

On Sunday, he’ll play in honor of them while supporting the organization that supports them, the Special Olympics.

People who overcome every day, but do so with a smile on their face and love in their heart, “Those are people I look up to,” says Moore.

Many causes. Many cleats.

On Sunday, the Colts players will wear their heart on their sleeve – and on their feet.

To learn more about My Cause My Cleats, click here.

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