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Brain Tumors in the Spotlight on NFL Sunday

By most accounts and measures, football – particularly the National Football League (NFL) – has overtaken baseball as America’s most popular and beloved sport. On average, more than 16 MILLION households in the United States tune in each week to watch the slate of NFL action on Sundays. And most of the league’s home teams typically sell-out their 60,000-80,000 seat stadiums every week.

With that type of attention and publicity, the NFL, like most professional sports leagues, offers a tremendous awareness platform to shine a light on important causes.

Colt’s long snapper, Luke Rhodes, shows off his custom-designed NBTS cleats. Credit: Indianapolis Colts (colts.com)

So the National Brain Tumor Society was thrilled to learn that a number of NFL players would highlight the fight against brain tumors during the league’s second-annual My Cause, My Cleats campaign.

The NFL started the My Cause, My Cleats campaign last year as an opportunity to allow players to use their cleats to share the causes that are important them during a designated game during the season. This year’s My Cause, My Cleats week was this past Sunday (Week 13, Dec. 3), and three of the approximately 1,000 players that chose to participate drew attention to the fight against brain tumors by donning a pair of custom cleats designed to showcase a nonprofit dedicated to that cause.

  • Robert Quinn, an outside linebacker for the Los Angeles Rams, sported a pair of custom-designed cleats bearing the National Brain Tumor Society name and logo during the teams win over the Arizona Cardinals. Watch a video of his cleats, here. Quinn recorded a sack during the game.
  • Luke Rhodes, the long-snapper for the Indianapolis Colts, honored his dad – a 12-year brain cancer survivor – with NBTS emblazoned on his cleats. Read more of his story, here.
  • Rex Burkhead, a running back for the New England Patriots, showcased a cause close to his heart – pediatric brain tumors – on his way to two touchdowns in the team’s 23-3 win over Buffalo with “Team Jack,” cleats. Read about Burkhead’s involvement with this organization and cause, here.

Robert Quinn of the L.A. Rams’ My Cause, My Cleats custom NBTS cleats. Credit: Jeff Lewis, Los Angeles Rams

During its season, the NFL frequently highlights a wide-range of causes it supports as a league, from cancer, in general, to military service and veterans. The My Cause, My Cleats initiative was a collaboration worked out with the league’s players to give individual players a yearly on-field opportunity to support the causes that are personally important to them in their own lives.

In addition to using their platform to raise awareness for the cause of their choice, the players also have the opportunity to auction of their cleats to raise money for the charity they selected.

To learn more about the My Cause, My Cleats initiative, you can visit www.nfl.com/mycausemycleats. To see if any of the brain tumor-themed cleats are up for auction, you can periodically check NFL.com/auction. To donate directly to NBTS, you can make a gift here.


Cover photo credit: Jeff Lewis, Los Angeles Rams.

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