NFL Players Sport JDRF Cleats in Diabetes Awareness Campaign

NFL Players Sport JDRF Cleats in Diabetes Awareness Campaign

David Carr shows off his cleats for the NFL My Cause, My Cleats campaign. Image adapted from NFL unboxing video.

For the fourth year in a row, football fans can spot their favorite players in custom cleats bearing the JDRF logo to show their commitment to raising awareness for type 1 diabetes research.

Orlando Brown Jr. of the Baltimore Ravens and Jameis Winston of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are among the pro athletes who selected JDRF (formerly Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) as their charity to support in the annual NFL My Cause, My Cleats campaign.

JDRF is one of the world’s leading nonprofit organization that supports type 1 diabetes research. According to the National Diabetes Statistics Report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 23.1 million people are diagnosed with diabetes, five percent of whom have type 1. People living with this autoimmune disorder often rely on daily insulin injections to manage their blood sugar.

Players are free to choose any charity to show their support, but JDRF has been consistently chosen by a handful of players for the last four years. Some players, like Mark Andrews of the Baltimore Ravens and DeAndre Carter of the Houston Texans, have type 1 diabetes themselves, while other players have loved ones who are affected by the disease.

By sharing personal stories and showing off their cleats, the players spend the month of December spreading awareness and raising money for the cause.

In an NFL unboxing video, former Houston Texans quarterback, David Carr, showed off his blue and white cleats with his name and the names of his children inscribed on them. Carr, his daughter and two sons all have type 1 diabetes.

For National Diabetes Awareness Month in November, the JDRF placed the spotlight on the everyday victories and challenges experienced by people living with type 1 diabetes. Interestingly, the campaign framed people living with diabetes as athletes in their own way.

“Staying on top of T1D takes the diligence, discipline, and resilience of a champion athlete, but people living with T1D are rarely celebrated in the same way,” said Aaron Kowalski, JDRF president and CEO in a statement.

In addition to their creative marketing and awareness campaigns, the charity advocates for federal research funding and lowering the cost of insulin. They have shown support for companies like Eli Lilly who had released a generic version of its blockbuster insulin product, Humalog, at half the price.