Allen Park — Starting last year, the NFL loosened its stringent uniform policy for one week, allowing players to wear custom cleats supporting charities and causes. The Detroit Lions will join more than 800 players taking part in the program this week.
The causes are wide-ranging, but each has personal meaning. Wide receiver TJ Jones will wear cleats supporting The Lisa Foundation, a foundation focused on raising awareness of brain aneurysms. Jones lost his father, Andre, in 2011 to an aneurysm.
Several players, including Golden Tate, Ziggy Ansah and Sam Martin, will wear cleats supporting their own charities.
Even Lions coach Jim Caldwell and general manager Bob Quinn are getting in on the action this year. Caldwell’s shoes support Midnight Golf Program, which helps underserved youth transition from high school to college, and Quinn’s the March of Dimes, a nonprofit that works to end premature birth, birth defects and infant mortality.
Lions running back Ameer Abdullah will honor Team Jack, which raises money for pediatric brain cancer.
Jack Hoffman, the namesake of the foundation, captured Abdullah and the nation’s heart at Nebraska, when he was invited on the field during the school’s spring and ran a handoff for a 70-yard touchdown.
“I put my foot in the chapter by donating every year and raising awareness any fashion I can,” Abdullah said.
Players will have the opportunity to raise funds by auctioning their cleats off at NFL Auction. All of funds raised will be donated to charities selected by players. Fans may bid on game-issued player cleats at NFL.com/Auction and help players raise funds for their chosen causes.