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Twenty Titans, Twenty Cleats — and Why

Posted Nov 29, 2017

A total of 20 Titans will be taking part in the NFL’s “My Cause, My Cleats” initiative, which allows players to don a pair of customized cleats in honor of a charitable cause.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Titans linebacker Wesley Woodyard saw his beloved aunt deal with ALS growing up, and more recently he’s seen Tim Shaw’s courageous fight with the disease.

On Sunday, Woodyard will be wearing special cleats recognizing everyone impacted by ALS during the team’s game against the Texans as part of the “My Cause, My Cleats” campaign. Titans rookie receiver Taywan Taylor will also wear cleats to bring awareness to ALS.

Woodyard and Taylor are among 20 Titans that will be taking part in the NFL’s “My Cause, My Cleats” initiative, which allows players to don a pair of customized cleats in honor of a charitable cause. Woodyard also wore the cleats during a game last season.

“It is a great way to bring awareness to a disease that has struck America,’’ Woodyard said. “These is no cure for it, and no one really knows much about it … and the only way we can find a cure for it is if we bring awareness to it. So hopefully there will be somebody out there watching this game that will see my cleats and they will be the reason why there is a cure for it.”

As part of the “My Cause, My Cleats” campaign, players will be given license to decorate their cleats with images and messages representing the charities of their choice.

Here’s a list of the Titans taking part, and their causes, thanks to a questionnaire provided by Titans community relations. (Titans defensive lineman Jurrell Casey has two causes).

Player: Daren Bates.

Cause: Heart health.

Non-profit: American Heart Association.

Why: My mom had a heart transplant when I was 9 or 10 years old.

The cause empowers people like me to: Help people like my mom.

Message to those affected by your cause: Stay positive and surround yourself with family, friends and people who will lift you up.


Player: Jurrell Casey.

Cause: Social justice and equality.

Non-profit: Fidelity Charitable- The Casey Fund.

Why: I realize there is a need in the type of community I grew up in. I want to be able to provide leadership and resources in a way I wish I had when growing up.

The cause empowers people like me to: Help level the playing field for underprivileged children and youth as well as bridging the gap back into society for formerly incarcerated people.

Message to those affected by your cause: I understand the journey is hard, but please continue to push forward.


Player: Jurrell Casey.

Cause: Equality, anti-discrimination.

Non-profit: Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE).

Why: Division in communities across the country; Inequality

The cause empowers people like me to: Tackle racism; drive positive change in the country.

Message to those affected by your cause: A house divided against itself cannot stand. We have to come together and unite.


Player: Johnathan Cyprien.

Cause: Youth empowerment.

Non-profit: Cyp Squad At-Risk Foundation.

Why: I was an at-risk youth once before and I want to help kids make the right choice now.

The cause empowers people like me to: Inspire and lead by example.

Message to those affected by your cause: Keep turning right when there are so many chances to turn wrong.


Player: Eric Decker.

Cause: Military appreciation/veterans services/animal rescue.

Non-profit: Eric Jessie Decker Foundation – Decker’s Dogs.

Why: Jessie and I wanted to support two causes, animal rescue and support military veterans and active troops.  When we were introduced to Freedom Service Dogs we knew we had found the answer. FSD Unleashes the potential of shelter dogs by transforming them into custom-trained, life changing assistance dogs for people in need with both visible and invisible injuries.

The cause empowers people like me to: Serve others and share the power of teamwork.

Message to those affected by your cause: I thank you for your commitment and sacrifices for our great nation. We are here to provide the dogs to help you live your life at home with no boundaries.


Player: Derrick Henry.

Cause: Cancer awareness (all types of cancer).

Non-profit: American Cancer Society.

Why: I've had too family members die from cancer. My aunt, grandfather and my uncle who passed recently.

The cause empowers people like me to: Raise awareness for people like my family, what they're going through.

Message to those affected by your cause: I'm praying for you and stay strong.


Player: Adoree’ Jackson.

Cause: Breast cancer awareness.

Non-profit: American Cancer Society.

Why: My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer my sophomore year of college. She's in remission now.

The cause empowers people like me to: Spread awareness for people who don't know how important it is to get screened regularly. It's easier to fight if you catch it early.

Message to those affected by your cause: Have faith and believe in God's plan. Stay positive and remain strong.


Player: Ben Jones.

Cause: Youth empowerment.

Non-profit: The Jones Mission Fund (supported by the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee)

Why: I've always had a passion for kids and helping those less fortunate. God has blessed me and my wife with so much and we want to give those blessings back by helping those in need.

The cause empowers people like me to: Help kids in the community while serving as a positive role model for them to look up to.

Message to those affected by your cause: God is good and has a plan and a reason for everything. Keep strong in your faith and he will always deliver and provide for you. DO not succumb to the ways of the world because it is the easy thing option. Your life and success are worth fighting for.


Player: Karl Klug.

Cause: Childhood cancer.

Non-profit: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Why: I had a 5 year old cousin pass away of leukemia. Having a family of my own makes me want to support any family that has to go through having a child with cancer.

The cause empowers people like me to: Use my platform and success to help raise awareness to childhood cancer.

Message to those affected by your cause: I don't know exactly how you are feeling but your strength inspires me to keep my life in perspective.


Player: Marcus Mariota.

Cause: Leveling the playing field.

Non-profit: Habitat for Humanity.

Why: My family and I were fortunate to be a part of Habitat projects in the past. We really appreciate what Habitat is doing to provide a home and invaluable skill sets to the recipients. If was definitely a cause we wanted to get behind.

The cause empowers people like me to: Help future homeowners attain their dream

Message to those affected by your cause: You are deserving and my family and I wish you the best of luck on your homeowner journey.


Player: Derrick Morgan.

Non-profit: Realm of Caring.

Why: I love the work they do with children. A lot of these kids have incurable diseases, and they don't have a lot of options when it comes to medical care. Realm of Caring does a great job of administering Cannabis treatment to children in Colorado.


Player: Brian Orakpo.

Cause: Leveling the playing field and Hurricane Harvey relief.

Non-profit: Brian Orakpo Foundation.

Why: I want to share my blessings with my community and those who need a little extra help to make their dreams come true

The cause empowers people like me to: Spend more time with my family so we can help others together. I'm also teaching my kids to serve others

Message to those affected by your cause: The NFL is behind you! Stay strong as you recover from Hurricane Harvey. We will not forget about you.


Player: Nathan Palmer.

Cause: Stroke Awareness.

Non-profit: American Heart Association.

Why: I have a long family history of stroke

The cause empowers people like me to: Raise awareness to a health concern that easily overlooked.

Message to those affected by your cause: Keep fighting.


Player: Curtis Riley.

Cause: Youth empowerment.

Non-profit: Ha ha’s HERO Foundation.

Why: Help kids in the city of Orlando, Florida.

The cause empowers people like me to: Help kids.

Message to those affected by your cause: You can do whatever you put your mind to!


Player: Logan Ryan.

Cause: Animal rescue.

Non-profit: Ryan Animal Rescue Foundation.

Why: My wife and I have always loved animals.

The cause empowers people like me to: Rescue animals in need, give a voice to the voiceless and raise awareness for animal adoption

Message to those affected by your cause: Help all animals in need.


Player: Quinton Spain.

Cause: Juvenile diabetes.

Non-profit: Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Why: To see young people unable to live regular, healthy lives because of a disease they have at no fault of their own, speaks to me.

The cause empowers people like me to: Stand up for youth and use my own resources to help put manpower behind finding a cure.

Message to those affected by your cause: There are people out there fighting for you, so don't YOU stop fighting either.


Player: Taywan Taylor.

Cause: ALS Awareness.

Non-profit: ALS Association.

Why: Raise awareness.

The cause empowers people like me to: Raise awareness and help find a cure.

Message to those affected by your cause: To live in the moment.


Player: Erik Walden.

Cause: Stroke awareness.

Non-profit: N/A.

Why: Death in the family.

The cause empowers people like me to: Be able to draw more attention to it.

Message to those affected by your cause: Pay attention.


Player: Avery Williamson.

Cause: Military appreciation.

Non-profit: Wounded Warriors.

Why: I have family members who served in the military. My brother in the Air Force and my great uncle in WWII. 

The cause empowers people like me to: Show appreciation for the people that protect us.

Message to those affected by your cause: Thank you for your service and sacrifice.


Player: Wesley Woodyard.

Cause: ALS awareness and youth empowerment.

Non-profit: ALS Association and 16Ways Foundation.

Why: My aunt and Tim Shaw both suffered from ALS. My aunt lived with it for 10 years before no one really knew what it was. I co-founded 16Ways in 2010 when I played for the Broncos. I wanted to use my platform to encourage youth and show them that someone believes in them.

The cause empowers people like me to: Bring awareness to a little-known disease that's affected my family and my football family. 16Ways allows me to do work in four different states and show kids that they can defy the odds, just like I did.

Message to those affected by your cause: Continue to keep living and fighting every day. 16Ways: When someone tells you that you can't do something, allow me to be the example. People told me I couldn't play one year in the NFL and now I'm in year 10. Don't let someone else stop you from pursuing your dreams.


Player: Rishard Matthews.

Cause: Know Your Rights Camp.

Why: I have chosen to support my brother Colin Kaepernick Foundation for #MyCauseMyCleats (because) he has paid the ultimate sacrifice in order to bring true every day issues to light.