The NFL is allowing players to wear special cleats Sunday as part of the league’s “My Cause, My Cleats” campaign, and running back Rex Burkhead is one of the Cincinnati Bengals taking part.
Burkhead will red cleats with the logo of the Team Jack Foundation he founded after meeting with young fan Jack Hoffman, who is battling brain cancer, while he was playing at Nebraska.
Burkhead invited Hoffman to the Nebraska spring game in 2013, and the video of him scoring a touchdown went viral and led to ESPY and an invitation to the White House.
Since then, the Team Jack Foundation has raised more than $3 million for pediatric brain cancer research.
“This platform, it’s a small opportunity you have, a small window and just to make the most of it is what I try to do,” Burkhead said. “For an opportunity like to get the awareness out for pediatric brain cancer — because it’s not a very heavily funded disease — it needs that awareness to be out there to help people donate to the cause.”
The league said more than 500 players are planning to showcase their causes on-field during games, and many have worked directly with Nike, Under Armour and adidas to design their cleats, which began arriving in locker rooms this week.
“I sent his dad a picture of them and he’s pretty pumped,” Burkhead said. “His dad said he loved them and it’s probably going to be a good auction item for the Team Jack Gala in February.”