JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jaguars players unwrapped their custom footwear on Tuesday, showing off brand-new cleats to support causes close to their hearts that will be worn in a game this month.
More than 50 players, coaches and even mascot Jaxson De Ville had custom cleats designed for their Dec. 13 home game against the Titans.
Among some of the themes and organizations represented were local ones.
Receiver Keelan Cole Sr. used his cleats to represent the Boys and Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida. Cole was involved in the organization as a child growing up in Louisville. Rookie defensive tackle DaVon Hamilton is putting his emphasis on pet adoption by showcasing the Jacksonville Humane Society. Coach Doug Marrone is representing the First Coast Child Protection Team.
“My wife, Helen, has long represented vulnerable children in the communities we’ve called home, and it remains a passion for her and my entire family,” Marrone said. “We should all be aware of and seek to protect kids who have been the victim of abuse to ensure they have a chance to grow up and achieve their dreams. I look forward to raising awareness for those kids during the My Cause My Cleats campaign this year.”
Other causes are deeply personal.
Receiver D.J. Chark said that he has struggled with anxiety and depression his entire life and put the Anxiety and Depression Association of America on his cleats to bring awareness to that issue.
“I have lived with anxiety throughout my life and it has been something that has impacted me on and off the field,” he said. “I believe that more awareness should be directed towards mental health, particularly with athletes. I want to use my platform to help people who are going through the same thing and remind them that there are people out there to talk to and they aren’t the only ones going through it.”