Check out the custom cleats the Broncos will wear to support charitable causes during their Week 13 game against the Dolphins. (Photos: Aric DiLalla)
Several Denver Broncos players revealed their 'My Cause My Cleats' shoes to media on Wednesday at UCHealth Training Center. The 'My Cause My Cleats' initiative was created in 2016 for NFL players to showcase the charitable cause that is most important to them for a national audience. Participating players have the opportunity to wear custom-designed cleats in support of their chosen cause during Week 13 games. Below are a sampling of Broncos players and the causes they will be supporting on Sunday.
T GARETT BOLLES Cause: National Center for Learning Disabilities
"Growing up, I had a learning disability. Growing up in school and growing up struggling, kids would make fun of me just because I couldn't read and I couldn't say certain words. I was in special education all the way through college. I just wanted to give back to those kids. One in every five kids has a learning disability. That's not something that we should just overlook. Those kids struggle day-in-and-day-out. It makes me emotional because those kids mean everything. I love kids because I was one of those kids. A lot of those kids get bullied; a lot of those kids get put down in the dirt because people tell them they can't make it. I'm here. I'm a testament to [the fact that] it doesn't matter that you struggle in certain things or struggle learning, writing speaking. You can always [achieve] your dreams if you put forth something higher. I put the Lord [higher] and he blessed me with something that's better than that—a family—and now I'm here playing for the Denver Broncos."
RB JAMAAL CHARLESCause: Special Olympics
"I wanted to do Special Olympics because it played a big part of my life. I see how far I came just looking back to getting my first opportunity to open up to people that weren't like normal people. That's when I first realized I had talent and that's why I wanted to [recognize] Special Olympics. It's something close to my heart that I can remember all the time."
G MAX GARCIACause: Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation
"I'm representing the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. It says 'Kimmora strong' and there's a 'C' for 'Team Colby.' These are two people that are very personal to me. Colby Young was a friend of mine. He's the son of Bryant Young, who was a defensive line coach at the University of Florida. He's someone that was more than a coach to me. He's someone that I was able to go to his house and just kind of be a part of the family. And then Kimmora, she's the daughter of my childhood best friend. She's been fighting through some neuroblastoma. Currently she's doing well, but she's been going through several stages of chemotherapy. She's been a hard fighter, and she's still with us. That's why I chose to represent the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation."
TE VIRGIL GREENCause: Fuel Up to PLAY 60
"To me, it just represents all of the fun we have when we work with these kids. I'm just trying to bring some joy to these kids' life for the time that they get to spend with us when we're either at their schools or here at the facility. It just brings back all of the fun from all of the running around that we do."
WR ISAIAH McKENZIE Cause: The John A. Hartford Foundation
"I chose the John A. Hartford Foundation for the elderly and the older adults that nobody thinks about. I grew up with my grandmother, so I took it to heart to help the elderly and things like that, and just bring joy to their life. I sent her picture and she called me and she started crying. She knows how much I love her and she's in every part of my life, on and off the field."
OLB VON MILLER Cause: Von's Vision and lupus awareness
"These are my Von's Vision cleats. It has the eye chart on there like when you're at the optometrist. On the bottom it's like a tortoise shell. Von's Vision is a foundation I started back in 2012 to provide eyewear for kids in need. [The second cleat] is to raise awareness about lupus. One of my childhood friends has lupus. He's 27 years old and just found out this offseason. So this is for Tony, my brother."
NT DOMATA PEKO SR.Cause: Save the Children
"My Cause My Cleats, for me — I'm doing the 'Save the Children' organization. They do a lot around the world saving kids and just making sure that kids are eating right and making sure that kids are taken care of because they are the future. The reason I put Syria on here is because my wife is from Syria and they are going through a really tough time right now. 'Save the Children' has been doing a good job with the refugees that are over there. I just wanted to show some love to the children."
QB TREVOR SIEMIANCause: Children's Hospital Colorado Foundation
"I work with Children's Hospital Colorado. My buddy Christian designed these. Leukemia is what Christian went through, but a lot of folks over there have been really good to me. I have a good thing going with those guys. It's kind of a cool deal. It's a good group. The kids are obviously great, but the staff is great. Just a really good group of people. It helps keep things in perspective for you. It's just such a cool perspective those kids have. You go in there and they're the first to crack a joke or they're smiling. You almost feel selfish going over there because I feel so good leaving after hanging out with those guys. Just really cool people over there."