The 2017 season will mark the second year of the NFL's My Cause My Cleats initiative. In Week 13, players around the league will be permitted to wear custom designed cleats that would normally fall outside the league's usual dress code.
The idea is to encourage players to use this event to raise awareness for a myriad of different charities. Twenty-three Washington Redskins players will partake in this year's event, shedding light on issues such as autism awareness or youth education.
Here's a preview of what charities Redskins players will be supporting during My Cause My Cleats. For a full list of the league's initiative, visit the NFL's official My Cause My Cleats website.
Cause: Raising a healthier generation
Norman and Starz24 recently unveiled an effort to help youth in Puerto Rico effected by Hurricane Maria, which will continue for the next week. Norman's efforts will continue during the 2017 installment of My Cause My Cleats
"I wanted to address the overwhelming population of young people that need support in living a full, healthy life," Norman said.
Cause: Human trafficking and slavery
Organization: International Justice Mission
Cousins, who has worked on fundraising with IJM before, said the organization does good work around the world, brining justice to some of the most crime infected areas on the planet. IJM consists of hundreds of lawyers and social workers around the globe, helping those in need.
Cause: Fanconi anemia and pediatric cancer
Organization: Kidz1stFund/Abby's Army
Thompson will be working with Abby's Army, a foundation started by two parents whose daughter Abby battled with brain cancer. Thompson said he recently met with Abby and was inspired by her courage. Thompson also said that Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher's son had battled with Fanconi anemia during his time with the Seminoles, leading to his dedication to help raise awareness of the disease.
Cause: Youth education
Organization: Morgan Moses Foundation
Moses said the importance of funding education will by the main driver for his charity this year. Moses and his foundation most recently worked with Tutor.com, leaving phone messages to local students encouraging them to work hard in school. Moses started his foundation back in 2015.
Cause: Premature birth
Organization: March of Dimes
McClain will work with the March of Dimes to bring help medical advances aimed at preventing premature births. McClain said this was an issue that touched his family personally, and that he hopes this initiative will help raise funds to help pregnant mothers avoid such complications.
Cause: Chronic illnesses in children
Organization: Kerrigan's Blitz for the Better Foundation
Kerrigan's foundation will work this year to help children suffering from chronic illnesses. Founded in 2013, the Blitz for the Better Education Foundation has worked with schools in the greater D.C. area, raising awareness and funds. This year, Kerrigan will focus his attention on autism.
"One of my cousins was diagnosed with autism and I have seen firsthand the challenges it presents, not just to my cousin, but to the entire family," Kerrigan said. "This is one of the reasons why I wanted to start my foundation – to help relieve some burdens that families go through with kids who are seriously ill or have special needs."
Organization: Autism Speaks
Doctson will be one of three Redskins' players focusing on autism this year. Doctson said he wants to let others know that those who suffer from the disease should be treated no differently. The Washington wide receiver said he wants to generate awareness on the issue and hopes that his initiative will help enrich the lives of those affected.
Cause: Inner City Youth
Organization: Inner City Visions
Brown, who grew up in an inner city, said he wants to help children who are currently growing up in a similar situation.
Organization: Autism Society
Nicholson, who has a younger cousin with autism, said he hopes My Cause My Cleats will inspire children with the disease to pursue their dreams. Nicholson's 16-year-old cousin also plays football.
Organization: Alzheimer's Foundation of America
Moreau said he wants to work with the Alzheimer's Foundation of America to raise awareness for those who suffer from the disease, like his very own grandfather. Moreau emphasized the importance of cherishing memories, and said he wants this year's initiative help with advancing researching a cure.
Cause: Diabetes/ breast cancer
Organization: JDRF/ Susan G. Komen
Everett will be supporting two causes in Week 13, in honor of his grandparents. Everett said his grandfather suffered from diabetes, while his grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Both eventually passed away from the diseases.
Cause: Music education
Organization: Music Unites
Breeland, a budding musician himself, took the issue as his driving force for My Cause My Cleats in 2017. The Washington cornerback said he hopes schools will implement more music-focused curriculums and encourage creativity and imagination.
"Music is something that drives me and will boost kids' drive to express themselves," he said.
Organization: Fight Fibromyalgia
Swearinger said both of his sisters have suffered from Fibromyalgia, with the youngest being just recently diagnosed.
Cause: Loads of Love
Organization: Redskins Charitable Foundation
The Washington long snapper worked with the Redskins Charitable Foundation to bring washers and dryers to local D.C. schools earlier this month. Sundberg said the initiative is far from over and that he hopes the Loads of Love program will continue to grow.
"It's an out of the box solution to a national problem," Sundberg said. "Education is the ladder for kinds to escape many issues including poverty."
Organization: Autism Speak
Hood said he takes the matter of Autism seriously, as his own family has dealt with the disease.
"My oldest son suffers from a form of autism," Hood said. "I would like to provide a voice to those who don't have the financial background and platform like I do."
Cause: Multiple Sclerosis
Organization: National Multiple Sclerosis Society
The 14-year Washington veteran said many close to his family have suffered from multiple sclerosis, and that he hopes he can help raise awareness for the disease.
Cause: Military Appreciation
Organization: Chis Kyle Frog Foundation
Perine said that in light of the recent protests around the league, he hopes he can help others understand how much players in the NFL appreciate and are thankful of members of the military.
Cause: Art education/appreciation
Organization: Vernon Davis Foundation for the Arts
Davis, an art enthusiast, said he hopes more children will become invested in expressing the creativity without ridicule.
"People are afraid to pursue the arts because of criticism which I had to deal with in my past," he said.
Davis' foundation provides support to local schools and gives scholarships and grants to children looking to further their learning in the arts.
Cause: Children and police
Organization: Ty Nsekhe Foundation
The Ty Nsekhe Foundation has worked with police officers across the country in the aim to improve relationships between law enforcement and the public.
"This foundation allows me to take advantage of my platform and be able to give back," he said.
Organization: Hope for Haiti
Galette grew up in Haiti and said that even seven years after the devastating earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people, the country still deserves all the aid it can get.