The time has arrived. Like Christmas morning, boxes are arriving to locker rooms around the league, ready to be unveiled. On Sunday, December 3, more than 60 players, coaches and staff from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will participate in the NFL's annual My Cause My Cleats campaign, an initiative created for NFL players to reveal their passions off the field and to wear their heart on their cleats. Players choose a cause that has personally impacted their own lives and display that chosen organization or foundation on custom designed cleats. Buccaneers' players and staff will showcase a myriad of colors and personalized art supporting 45-plus different charitable organizations when Tampa Bay faces the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, December 3 in Week 13.
Starting on Tuesday, Buccaneers' players will reveal the stories behind their personalized cleats, along with images of the specialized designs using the hashtag #MyCauseMyCleats. The Buccaneers worked closely with Stadium Custom Kicks, Soles By Sir and Sean Vergara to create this year's campaign designs. 2023 marks the eighth consecutive season that NFL players are raising awareness for non-profit organizations and causes off the field, with more than 1,000 players throughout the league annually participating. My Cause My Cleats will be celebrated around the NFL leading into the holiday season during all Week 13 games.
During the Bucs' Sunday contest against the Panthers at Raymond James Stadium, Head Coach Todd Bowles will wear specially designed sneakers representing Autism Speaks – an organization dedicated to bettering understanding and acceptance of people with autism, along with advancing research into causes and improving interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions – in support of his son Tyson. In addition, Owner/Co-Chairman Joel Glazer, General Manager Jason Licht, Assistant General Manager John Spytek, Assistant General Manager Mike Greenberg, Director of Player Personnel Mike Biehl, Director of Player Personnel Rob McCartney, Director of Football Operations Shelton Quarles, and Inside Linebackers Coach/Pass Game Coordinator Larry Foote, will all be donning sneakers in support of the National CMV Foundation. Spytek co-founded the National CMV Foundation with his wife, Kristen, in honor of their daughter, Evelyn Grace, who passed away from CMV in 2014. Vice President of Football Research Jacqueline Davidson will be representing Black Girls Code on her custom sneakers. Black Girls Code is a non-profit organization that aims to engage girls of color with computer programming education to enhance and foster careers in tech.
Inside linebacker Lavonte David will support Big Brothers Big Sisters, where he serves as a national ambassador. The mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay is to foster and encourage one-on-one mentoring relationships that empower youth. In remembrance of his late mother Sally Waterstradt Otton, tight end Cade Otton will wear cleats that benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation, an organization aimed at finding a cure for Parkinson's disease through funded research and to ensure the progress of improved therapies for those living with Parkinson's.
The Women's Sports Foundation will be represented on the field and in the owner's suite. Owner Darcie Glazer Kassewitz and Quarterbacks Coach Thad Lewis will wear custom shoes to honor the foundation. The duo is passionate about cultivating an environment that empowers girls and women to accomplish their goals in the sports industry and in life. The non-profit organization advocates, educates, funds, and fuels women and girls as they advance through life.
Several Buccaneers will represent their own foundations, including receiver Mike Evans (Mike Evans Family Foundation), outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett (Arrayah Hope Foundation), receiver Chris Godwin (Team Godwin Foundation) and quarterback Baker Mayfield (Baker and Emily Mayfield Foundation).
Shaq Barrett will don cleats in remembrance of his daughter, Arrayah Barrett, who passed away in April. Shaq and his wife, Jordanna, started a foundation in his late daughter's honor, "Arrayah Hope" Foundation that will provide free swim lessons and instruction to children in Tampa, Florida. In addition, Baker Mayfield will advocate for the foundation he launched with his wife, Emily, in August. The Baker and Emily Mayfield Foundation is aimed at supporting early childhood literacy and "evening the odds" for at-risk youth through scholarships, healthy lifestyle choices and after-school activities.
Here is the full list of each Buccaneer player that is participating in this year's 2023 campaign:
- CJ Brewer - Crisis Center of Tampa Bay
- Jake Camarda - Atlanta Mission: The Potter's House
- Lavonte David - Big Brothers Big Sisters
- Carlton Davis III - Metropolitan Ministries
- Jamel Dean - National Alliance on Mental Illness
- Dee Delaney - Gigi's Playhouse
- Yaya Diaby - Coach Frank Ortega Foundation
- Payne Durham - Warrior Dog Foundation
- Chase Edmonds - Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective
- Mike Evans - Mike Evans Family Foundation
- Will Gholston - National CMV Foundation
- Chris Godwin - Team Godwin Foundation
- Luke Goedeke - Tampa Bay Waterkeeper
- Mike Greene - American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
- Christian Izien - Coach Frank Ortega Foundation
- Calijah Kancey - Good Sports
- Ko Kieft - The Titan Project
- Nick Leverett - Protect Your Mental Health LLC
- Cody Mauch - Coach Frank Ortega Foundation
- Baker Mayfield - Baker and Emily Mayfield Foundation
- Chase McLaughlin - Live Action
- Kaevon Merriweather - Chad Tough Foundation
- David Moore - Children's Tumor Foundation
- Anthony Nelson - Wounded Warrior Project
- Cade Otton - The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
- Trey Palmer - Moffitt Cancer Center: Breast Cancer
- Derrek Pitts - The American Association for Klinefelter Syndrome
- Justin Skule - FBI Agents Association
- Kyle Trask - Bridging Freedom
- Joe Tryon-Shoyinka - Celebrate Birthdays
- Vita Vea - Pregnancy After Loss Support
- Brandon Walton - Eminent Intention
- David Wells - Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
- Devin White - Mike Evans Family Foundation
- Rachaad White - Cure SMA
- Antoine Winfield Jr. - A Kid's Place Tampa Bay
- Tristan Wirfs - Tampa Fire Rescue
- Aaron Stinnie - The Big Man Foundation
- Markees Watts - Feeding Tampa Bay
- Pat O'Connor - Christmas Without Cancer
- Cam Gill - Metropolitan Ministries
- Deven Thompkins - Gigi's Playhouse
- Shaquil Barrett - Arrayah Hope Ice
- KJ Britt - John Hopkins All Children's Hospital
- Ryan Jensen - TAPS: Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors
- Robert Hainsey - C4 Foundation