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My Cause, My Cleats: Vernon Davis

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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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Football

Longtime Packer Clay Matthews Signs with the Rams

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Few players have been more synonymous with the Green Bay Packers over the last decade then Clay Matthews.

Matthews is a six-time Pro Bowler that helped lead the Packers to a win Super Bowl XLV. Matthews has not only been great on the field but has also been a star off of it, as one of the most marketed players in the league.

Now, Matthews career will continue away from the Packers as he has signed a two-year deal with the L.A. Rams.

Signing with Rams is a homecoming of sorts for Matthews, as he grew up in California and played college football at USC.

While his time with the Packers has come to an end, Matthews with forever be remembered in Packers lore as one of the best to ever play for the franchise.

Now Matthews will look to win his second Super Bowl ring, but this time as a Ram.

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Football

Bengals Cut Ties with Controversial Linebacker Vontaze Burfict

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There is no one in the NFL that is more widely considered a dirty player than Vontaze Burfict.

Burfict has been suspended multiple times and is caught taking cheap shots on opposing players nearly every week that he is on the field.

The Bengals have stood by Burfict, because of his obvious talent, for years but they ultimately decided he wasn’t worth the headache and have officially released the former Pro Bowler.

While his time in Cincinnati has come to an end, we will never forget all of the punishing hits he has given throughout his career.

When the dust settles, it will be interesting to see if a win-now team decides to take a flier on Burfict despite his reputation.

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Football

‘Fitzmagic’ Takes His Talents to South Beach

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After trading Ryan Tannehill was last week, the Miami Dolphins were left without a starting quarterback.

Now it seems that they have their guy, as the Dolphins have signed journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick to be their signal caller for the 2019 season.

At this rate, Fitzpatrick will end up playing for over half of the teams in the NFL as he seems to land on a new squad every year.

Last year, “Fitzmagic” swept through the Tampa area for a few weeks, as Fitzpatrick lead the Buccaneers to a few early season wins. “Fitzmagic” could not maintain that success for long run, but those games were the highlight of an otherwise dismal season for the Buccaneers.

The Dolphins hope for the same kind of success, or lack thereof, this season as they are clearly in tank mode. Fitzpatrick winning a few games to bring excitement will be good for the fans, but he is really in Miami to lose.

We cannot possibly now how bad this season gets for the Dolphins, but it sure got more interesting with their signing of Ryan Fitzpatrick.

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