Bucs' Mike Evans to sport gold cleats to fight racism
This weekend, the NFL is allowing players to wear custom cleats as part of the league's "My Cause, My Cleats" campaign, and Bucs receiver Mike Evans is taking part, wearing gold cleats for Tampa Bay's game at San Diego as he works to fight against racism.
Evans' message goes out in conjunction with the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE), a nonprofit organization, and his cleats will "tell the story of treating all people with respect and dignity and sidelining racism," according to the NFL's release previewing the cleats campaigns. RISE will have 10 NFL players wearing special cleats as part of their "Sideline Racism" efforts this weekend.
When Evans decided to end his protest of the national anthem two weeks ago, he said he wanted to "focus my efforts on finding more effective ways to communicate my message and bring about change by supporting organizations and movements that fight for equal rights for minorities." It looks like his cleats will be the first step toward that in Sunday's game.
The NFL says more than 500 players are planning to showcase their causes during games this weekend, which works out to about 16 per team, so we'll be sharing more stories about players and their causes throughout the week. Other Bucs who are known to have special cleats and causes for Sunday's game:
-- QB Jameis Winston will be wearing cleats to support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, special to him because his grandmother has diabetes
-- LB Kwon Alexander will have an anti-gun violence message on his cleats. His brother Broderick, just 17, was shot and killed in their native Alabama last year
-- LB Lavonte David will support Big Brothers Big Sisters with his cleats
-- OT Donovan Smith will wear cleats to raise awareness for children with intellectual disabilities
-- CB Josh Robinson will wear cleats with a message about brain cancer
-- QB Mike Glennon will wear cleats in support of Moffitt Cancer Center
-- CB Alterraun Verner will wear cleats in support of Athletes for Charity, for which he actively volunteers in the community.