NASHVILLE – The Titans want to help make a difference in communities across the country, and this weekend, they'll try and do so with their cleats.
For the fifth-consecutive season, NFL players are raising awareness for non-profit organizations and causes on the field through the My Cause My Cleats campaign.
A total of 19 Titans signed up to participate for Sunday's game against the Browns.
Among those taking part: Derrick Henry, whose cleats will focus on his Two All Foundation, and helping youth across the country.
"My Cause My Cleats I'm doing it on my Two All Foundation to level the playing field for the youth," Henry said on Thursday. "I'm big on youth, being a great resource for the kids, being a helping hand, doing anything I can to help kids in any way possible. I was the type of kid that looked for a role model, a guy that reached out, had a huge platform. Sports was what I always looked to, so I want to be that for those kids.
"It's a good way for guys to raise money for these different organizations and foundations, something that they're passionate about and being able to use our platform to be a blessing for others. It's a great thing the NFL is doing and a great thing that all these NFL players are doing."
My Cause My Cleats is a player-led campaign that began in 2016.
According to the NFL, this year's causes across the NFL include topics such as tackling social injustice, supporting families in the wake of COVID-19, and bridging the digital divide. Out of the total 20.5 percent of players selected social justice causes, 17 percent selected causes related to youth and education while 14 percent of players will support health and wellness-related initiatives.
Titans receiver Cameron Batson wants to bring attention to ALS, in memory of his grandmother, Debra Lusk.
"My grandmother was a great role model – she was one of the most sincere and strongest individuals that I know," Batson said on Friday. "She was diagnosed in 2008 and started to lose feeling in her arms and her hands at first, and it slowly progress into her body. Eventually she had to have a feeding tube put into her stomach because she couldn't chew. And last year, on my father's birthday, she ended up passing -- that's was my father's mother. So I want to bring awareness to ALS – it is a muscular disease that slowly degenerates your muscle. They don't know the cause of it, so that's why I partnered with ALS Foundation to raise awareness."
On Batson's custom cleat it the words RIP Debra "Hamma" Lusk are inscribed on the side.
"When I was younger, I couldn't say Grandma, so I would say, 'Hamma, Hamma," Batson said with a smile. "The name just stuck and we have been calling her 'Hamma' ever since."
Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill will represent both the Equal Justice Initiative and Lifewater International.
"My Cause My Cleats was created out of conversations with NFL players who wanted an opportunity to shed light on causes that mean the most to them," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "Season after season I am inspired by the growing number of NFL players that participate in My Cause My Cleats and the causes they represent. Each player has a story to tell and we are grateful for the impact they make in the communities in which they live and work, and society in general."
Players have the option to raise funds for their cause of choice through auctioning their cleats on NFL Auction where 100% of funds raised will be donated to the charities they select. Fans may bid on player cleats at NFL.com/Auction and help raise funds for the causes nearest to their hearts. To learn more about each player's cause visit www.nfl.com/mycausemycleats.
Tennessee Titans players' passions go beyond the game and several will showcase causes that are important to them with custom cleats as part of the NFL's My Cause My Cleats campaign. (Photos: Donald Page)
Here's a look at the 19 players who will take part in the My Cause My Cleats campaign for Sunday's game vs the Browns, and their causes:
Player: WR Cameron Batson.
Non-profit: ALS Association.
Cause: ALS awareness in memory of Debra Lusk, his grandmother, who passed away from ALS.
Player: WR A.J. Brown.
Cause: Human sex trafficking.
Player: LB Jayon Brown.
Non-profit: YMCA Y Cap.
Cause: Youth services and mentorship.
Player: S Kevin Byard.
Non-profit: The Byard family legacy fund.
Cause: Spreading God's grace.
Player: OL Jamil Douglas.
Cause: Social justice.
Player: RB Derrick Henry.
Non-profit: Two All Foundation.
Cause: Leveling the playing field for today's youth so that their future success is not limited by the circumstances of their upbringing, background, disability, or influence.
Player: DB Chris Jackson.
Non-profit: Campaign Zero.
Cause: Police brutality.
Player: C Ben Jones.
Non-profit: The Jones Mission.
Cause: At-risk youth.
Player: RT Dennis Kelly.
Non-profit: FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education).
Cause: Food allergies.
Player: OL Brandon Kemp.
Non-profit: Boys and girls club.
Cause: Abusive homes.
Player: DB Desmond King.
Non-profit: Autism Speaks.
Cause: Autism awareness.
Player: LB David Long Jr.
Non-profit: Dream Corps #Cut50.
Cause: Prison Reform.
Player: OL Daniel Munyer.
Non-profit: Movember and the YMCA of Middle Tennessee.
Cause: Mental health awareness and domestic violence.
Player: DT Larrell Murchison.
Non-profit: American dementia society.
Player: LS Matt Overton.
Non-profit: Pimpin Joy.
Cause: Choose to find and spread joy in your daily lives regardless of your circumstances.
Player: OLB Derick Roberson.
Non-profit: National Urban League.
Cause: Social injustice, black lives matter, ovarian cancer.
Player: DL Jeffery Simmons.
Non-profit: YMCA Y Cap.
Cause: Kids Recreational.
Player: QB Ryan Tannehill.
Non-profit: Equal Justice Initiative and Lifewater.
Cause: Social justice and clean water.
Player: LT David Quesseberry.
Non-profit: Operation Underground Railroad.
Cause: Stop human sex trafficking.