Logan Thomas’ grandparents' house was like a second home for the tight end growing up. He spent a lot of time there -- more than most kids might. Shirley and Cliff Thomas often looked after Thomas and his sister while their mother worked multiple jobs to provide for the family. Shirley and Cliff cherished that special bond they had with their grandkids and always wanted a big, tight-knit family.
It was at his grandparents' house that a young Thomas homed his raw athletic talents. Right when Cliff would get home from work, Thomas would beg him to play basketball, football, baseball, any sport for which he could find a ball. When Logan got older and started to excel in organized sports, Shirley and Cliff did their best to make it to all of his games.
Shirley was never shy about showing her support for her grandson. At his games, her cheering stood out in the crowd. Whenever Logan made a big play or needed an extra boost, she'd ring her cowbell. She was his biggest fan.
"We were really, really close," Logan said about their relationship.
The Washington Football Team will be wearing customized cleats as part of the NFL's "My Cause, My Cleats" initiative. Check out the 2021 collection. (Photos by Emilee Fails/Washington Football Team)
As is with many children, Thomas learned a lot simply by watching the adults around him take on life. Watching his grandparents in that house -- their actions, their reactions -- indelibly shaped him. Never did that fact ring truer and more seriously than when Thomas was a teenager and Shirley was diagnosed with breast cancer. He saw her navigate some of the toughest days of her life with strength and grace. While at Virginia Tech, he kept in constant communication with her, letting her know that he was always going to be there. Eventually, doctors let her know that she was in remission.
As Thomas' football career took off and life chugged on, their bond never wavered. She considered being a grandma among her most important roles.
In February of this year, Shirley passed away from a combination of cancers.
The loss of his beloved grandma to a disease that is considered one of the largest health problems in the world ultimately motivated Logan to select the American Cancer Society as his cause for this year's "My Cause, My Cleats" campaign. Honoring his grandma and the millions affected by cancer, he'll wear his cleats during Sunday's game against the Las Vegas Raiders.
"Being able to put [these] on my feet and play for all those who've had cancer, I don't take it lightly" Thomas said.
The cleats, which can be seen below, will be available for auction. You can bid on them, HERE. All proceeds procured from the auction will be donated to the American Cancer Society.
"It means a lot to me just being able to give back in that way," Thomas said.