This week the NFL has permitted players to wear custom cleats without being fined in order to promote a cause that is important to them. The ‘My Cause, My Cleats’ campaign is a partnership between the NFL and the Player Tribune, which started last season to raise awareness for different causes.
Chicago Bears defensive back Cre’Von Leblanc, the founder of the Cre’von LeBlanc foundation, will sport his customized Under Armour cleats to market his two foundation programs: ‘Save a heart and Second Change.’
One of the foundation’s mission is to support and assist individuals in making a successful transition to their community after they have been incarcerated. The foundation will partner with companies who hire convicted felons and offer them with a second chance to be a contributor to society. The ‘Second Chance’ program offers resources to individuals who require assistance with re-entry into the workforce, and are unable to balance work/life/family. Additionally, the foundation will help children of these individuals seeking help and resources through mentoring, counseling, free activities and peer support. The foundation currently partners with the Palm Beach Youth Academy, where Cre’Von LeBlanc is a visible figure at the facility.
Unfortunately, at the age of 15 Cre’Von loss his father to a heart attack. He was a young boy in the back seat of the car, as the family was on their way to Orlando, to celebrate his mother’s birthday. The grief was unbearable, however, he found a way through sports, maintaining a healthy diet, achieving his goals, and leaning on his faith and keeping God first to get through the pain. LeBlanc knows education is one of the keys to success. In conclusion, the ‘Save A Heart Program’s’ focus is to teach the youth about maintaining a healthy, strong heart when dealing with grief and life challenges.
LeBlanc will be displaying his creativity by having each shoe illustrate each program. For one shoe, the artwork was designed by nine-year-old Gianna Carbone from Jupiter Farms Elementary school a picture of a heart, shaped by fingers with a cross in the middle and is surrounded by clouds. This shoe is in honor of his father. The other shoe represents LeBlanc’s older brother Craig, who is currently incarcerated and working towards receiving a second chance at life because one mistake shouldn’t equal a life sentence.
The message LeBlanc wants to present when he wears his cleats during the Bears-49ers game on Sunday is to encourage, inspire, and empower the youth.
The NFL will auction off the players’ custom cleats with all of the proceeds benefiting the cause the cleats were designed to support.