This season, Buffalo Bills players have once again teamed up with charities of their choice as part of the NFL's My Cause, My Cleats initiative. The special program, which gives players around the league a chance to showcase their support for causes near and dear to their hearts by customizing their cleats, is one that many Bills players have jumped on board with since it started in 2016. Taking things one step further, Bills players are giving fans a chance to get involved this time around through a ticket fundraising campaign.
Through the "Buy a Ticket, Support a Player Cause" program, Bills players are further able to highlight the important work that they are doing off the field to make a difference in communities across the country. Players such as Lorenzo Alexander, LeSean McCoy, Charles Clay, Dion Dawkins, Pat DiMarco, Reid Ferguson, Stephen Hauschka, Micah Hyde, Zay Jones, Deon Lacey, Nathan Peterman, Harrison Phillips, Jordan Poyer, Eddie Yarbrough and more, are encouraging fans to purchase tickets for the team's Week 14 game against the New York Jets, as $5 from each ticket purchased on their behalf will then be donated to the respective player's charity.
For the second consecutive year, Hyde's cleats will be decorated in honor of his IMagINe for Youth foundation – an organization that supports children by providing resources, supplies and equipment to help them excel in athletics and in school.
"It hits home for me," said Hyde when explaining his cause last season. "When I was growing up, my brother, my sister and myself – my mom was a single parent and we were doing a lot of traveling. I played football, basketball, baseball [and] soccer. My sister had her own sports, my brother had his own stuff. A lot of the stuff we couldn't afford to do; it was a lot on my mom. Fortunately, we had my friends' parents. Whether it was traveling halfway across the country, they would take us along. It was little stuff like that."
The Pro Bowl safety is extremely passionate about the cause and regularly hosts events that benefit his foundation in his native Ohio and in Western New York. By donning the charity on his footwear on game day, he hopes to generate awareness.
"It's awesome [that] everyone gets to design their own cleats," said Hyde. "I just want to build more awareness that we're here to help. That's the main thing."
At the game, Bills faithful will get to see their favorite players take the field sporting their custom cleats. Fans can visit buffalobills.com/mycausemycleats to find out more about which charities the players are supporting and to purchase game tickets.