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My Cause, My Cleats: Vernon Davis




In the worlds of fashion and sports, and popular culture in general, the sneaker reigns supreme. From athletic performance, to street creed, athletes, collectors and style stars all praise at the alter of the sneaker. Or in this case, the cleat.

Vernon Davis, tight end for the Washington Redskins, spoke to SLiC sports ahead of his game versus the NY Giants today about the cleats he would be wearing.

Photo: Getty Images

More than 800 NFL players will showcase their support for the causes and charities that are important to them with their cleats during all Week 13 games. As a part of a collaborative effort with the NFL, players will represent hundreds of charities and organizations that focus on a myriad of social and health issues.

“Our players are passionate supporters of many charitable causes and serve as change makers in their communities,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goddess. “We are excited to build upon last year’s success and work with our players to expand this unique platform that enables them to raise awareness for causes they support.”

Players will have the opportunity  to raise money for their cause of choice by auctioning off their custom designed game-issued cleats at the NFL Auction. 100% of raised money will be donated to the player’s charity.

Vernon Davis has chosen to create his cleats this year to benefit his own foundation; The Vernon Davis Foundation for the Arts.

Photo: C/O Vernon Davis Instagram

Vernon Davis has always had a ton of heART and soul. Growing up he knew that showing his interest and love for art was a good way to put a target on his own back. He was made fun of by other kids and learned quickly that having the latest Air Jordans, or becoming great at sports was the only was to be “cool in school”. Although he had talent, he kept it hidden, choosing only to paint in the privacy of his own home.

After working hard and receiving a football scholarship to the University of Maryland, Vernon’s life changed. It set the stage for his future NFL career, but also gave him the freedom to pursue his love of art. He tossed aside his concerns of what others thought about his passion for art and became a Studio Art major. He was later drafted by the 49ers in 2006, that year’s overall 6th pick, in the NFL draft. Now, a 12 year NFL veteran, Vernon Davis has branched out off of the field in many ways (honorary US Men’s Curling Team Captain in 2010 anyone?!?!) but his focus has remained on art.

He launched the Vernon Davis Foundation for the Arts, and then later his own gallery, Gallery 85, to give artists an opportunity to show their work. Davis’ foundation envisions communities where the arts are vital to social development and represent a positive alternative for youth dealing with stress and peer pressure. Through the arts, Vernon believes that you can find new ways to express themselves, lift their spirits and fulfill their dreams. The foundation promotes art education and appreciation for youth amongst disadvantaged backgrounds. Including but not limited to, gap scholarships to students, and grants for after school programs. Vernon hopes to inspire and empower students to think outside the box, and have a safe, judgement free zone to pursue the arts. He hopes his appreciation of art, and his platform can help mitigate the stigma in some communities of an interest in being artistic in any form; music, visual art, acting or performing.

“Sometimes the kids may not be into art, but I’m still able to make an impact on their lives. I want to get them to a place where it’s not just about paintings; it’s about jazz it’s about acting, anything you can do differently that’s considered as art. There are different realms. Where I come in is to inspire them in a way that they’re not scared. When they see me, they’re free.”

Vernon worked with Soles by Sir on ideas for how his pair would look. The end result was exactly the vivid colors and great brushstroke techniques Vernon had dreamed of. He is beyond thrilled to have been a part of this years program (as he has for many years in the past) and for the opportunity to raise money for the programs and kids he hopes to make an impact with.

Photo: C/O Vernon Davis Instagram

You can bid on Vernon’s game worn cleats, or those of the other NFL players involved in the My Cause, My Cleats program by clicking here.

Click here to learn more about the Vernon Davis Foundation for the Arts.

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Dallas Cowboys Release 2017 First-Round Pick Taco Charlton




The Dallas Cowboys are known for their ability to draft extremely well, as they rarely miss on pick, especially one in the first round.

However they did miss on their 2017 first-round draft pick, Taco Charlton. Charlton was a standout defensive end coming out of Michigan, but has not lived up to the hype in the NFL.

Charlton only recorded four sacks in his first two seasons with the Cowboys and has now been released after Dallas could not find a trade partner to take him on.

There is sure to be another team in the NFL that will take a chance on Charlton, as he is still just 24-years-old with plenty of upside.

With his new team, Charlton will need to build out a new reputation as his current one in Dallas in not very flattering.

It will interesting to see what team jumps first in trying to sign the former first-rounder, but it doesn’t sound like he will be missed in Dallas.

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Jalen Ramsey Wants Out of Jacksonville Demands a Trade




There is really no disputing the excellence of Jalen Ramsey on the field. He is clearly one of the top three cornerbacks in the NFL, if not the best.

Off the field, Ramsey’s boisterous personality has rubbed some the wrong way over the years, as he isn’t afraid to say anything at any time.

Well Ramsey is done being the face of the Jacksonville Jaguars and has demanded a trade to get out there sooner rather than later.

This trade request came off the heels of a sideline altercation between Ramsey and the Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone, which saw the fourth-year corner furiously yelling at Marrone.

Ramsey, 24, is now trying to say the right things. Talking about how he is still a Jaguar and is focused on playing the Tennessee Titans on Thursday.

Yet it is obvious that the relationship between Ramsey and the Jaguars has soured and the best resolution would be a trade that sent him to a contender.

Considering the fact that Ramsey showed up to training camp in the back of a Brinks truck, whatever team that trades for Ramsey will obviously have to be willing to pay a lot of money to keep him around long-term.

With that being said, Ramsey would make any team a lot better, as one of the true lockdown cornerback in the NFL. This means that the Jaguars should pull in a haul in any trade that includes Ramsey.

Any team that acquires Ramsey will want to do so before he plays in a short week on Thursday. So now it is just time to get the popcorn ready, sit back and see where Ramsey falls over the coming days.

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Eli Manning to the Bench, Daniel Jones Named the Starting Quarterback




The Eli Manning era is officially over and this time it has ended for the right reasons.

A few years back, it appeared that Manning’s time as the franchise quarterback was coming to a close when the Giants ended his long-time iron man streak to start Geno Smith in 2017.

New York would eventually backtrack on removing Manning from his job and continued to start him for all of the 2018 season and for the first two games this year.

But after losing the first two games of the season, the Giants are ready to move into the future with their new quarterback Daniel Jones.

The Giants were initially mocked for drafting Jones with the sixth overall pick, as there were other quarterbacks like Dwayne Haskins who were more highly touted that were available.

Jones then quieted some of those doubters, when he turned in a great preseason, earning the nickname “Danny Dimes” for his accurate passing.

Jones will look to turn this season around for the Giants, but the offense has not really been the problem.

It has more been the Giants defense which has dropped the ball, as they have failed to generate a pass rush and have been torched through the first two weeks of the season.

In the end, this move is more about 2020 then it is about this season. Jones has proven that he is capable of starting in the NFL right now and having a near full season starting will only help his growth more.

The idea coming into the year was to have Jones learn behind a future Hall of Famer, then take over next season. But because of the great leader and teammate that Manning is, the Giants can get the best of both worlds.

Jones can be in a quarterback room with Manning, where he learns and grows, but will also get valuable game experience.

While Jones looks like a promising prospect, he has some massive shoes to fill when you look back at Manning’s career in New York.

Some will argue about how great a quarterback he was, but Manning led the Giants to two incredible Super Bowl victories in his career. He also was remarkably durable and was great leader on and off the field.

Manning will still be a New York Giant for one more season, but there is no mistake whose team this is now.

The Daniel Jones era has begun and who knows what that will bring this once great franchise.

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