American Diabetes Association Supported by 25 Players During NFL’s My Cause My Cleats Campaign


Michelle Kirkwood

Arlington, Virginia
December 6, 2017

Players Wore Custom Cleats to Support the ADA, Diabetes Awareness for NFL Player Cause Initiative

During Week 13 of the 2017 NFL season, 25 NFL players participated in the league’s My Cause My Cleats campaign with custom-designed cleats to bring awareness to the diabetes epidemic and the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) efforts to improve the lives of people living with diabetes and find potential cures.

“Diabetes is one of our nation’s greatest challenges; nearly half of American adults have diabetes or its precursor prediabetes, and it carries an enormous and lifelong financial, lifestyle and physical burden. Whether it’s to bring awareness to the risks of diabetes, the opportunities to prevent diabetes or in support of those living with diabetes, raising our voices is at the core of our work at the ADA. We’re grateful to these players for bringing this cause to the forefront, as well as the artists who donated their time to help bring this to fruition. Thank you!” said William T. Cefalu, MD, chief scientific, medical and mission officer for the ADA.

Players who supported the ADA for the My Cleats My Cause campaign included:

  • Adrian Phillips, safety – Los Angeles Chargers
  • Ben Koyack, tight end – Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Blair Brown, linebacker – Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Branden Jackson, defensive end – Seattle Seahawks
  • Cedric Thornton, defensive tackle – Buffalo Bills
  • Clive Walford, tight end – Oakland Raiders
  • Dalvin Tomlinson, defensive tackle – New York Giants
  • Damontre Moore, defensive end – free agent
  • DJ Humphries, offensive tackle – Arizona Cardinals
  • Dont'a Hightower, linebacker – New England Patriots
  • Duane Brown, left tackle – Seattle Seahawks
  • Frostee Rucker, defensive end – Arizona Cardinals
  • Jay Ajayi, running back – Philadelphia Eagles
  • John Jenkins, defensive tackle – Chicago Bears
  • Kareem Martin, linebacker – Arizona Cardinals
  • Kyle Love, defensive tackle – Carolina Panthers
  • LaAdrian Waddle, offensive tackle – New England Patriots
  • LeGarrette Blount, running back – Philadelphia Eagles
  • Obum Gwacham, linebacker – New York Jets
  • Ryan Davis, defensive end – Buffalo Bills
  • Sealver Siliga, defensive tackle – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Shane Ray, linebacker – Denver Broncos
  • Walt Aikens, defensive back – Miami Dolphins
  • Will Clarke, defensive back – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Za'Darius Smith, linebacker – Baltimore Ravens

My Cause My Cleats offers players the opportunity to raise funds for the cause of their choice through NFL Auction; 100 percent of funds raised will be donated to the charities selected by each player. Five players placed their game-worn cleats on the auction block to benefit the ADA: Jay Ajayi, Za’Darius Smith, Adrian Phillips, Shane Ray and Dont’a Hightower.

The ADA worked with four artists to create customized cleats for players who decided to support diabetes awareness as their cause. Each artist donated his or her time to hand-paint the players’ gear:

The majority of the 25 players who participated in the My Cause My Cleats campaign are members of the ADA’s Team Tackle initiative. Team Tackle brings together current and former professional football players to raise awareness for diabetes and prediabetes, and to advocate for diabetes research funding and policies that make a positive impact on the diabetes community. 

Photos of the cleats are available for download here.

About the American Diabetes Association

Nearly half of American adults have diabetes or prediabetes; more than 30 million adults and children have diabetes; and every 21 seconds, another individual is diagnosed with diabetes in the U.S. Founded in 1940, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization whose mission is to prevent and cure diabetes, and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. The ADA drives discovery by funding research to treat, manage and prevent all types of diabetes, as well as to search for cures; raises voice to the urgency of the diabetes epidemic; and works to safeguard policies and programs that protect people with diabetes. In addition, the ADA supports people living with diabetes, those at risk of developing diabetes, and the health care professionals who serve them through information and programs that can improve health outcomes and quality of life. For more information, please call the ADA at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit Information from both of these sources is available in English and Spanish. Find us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn)