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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

Buccaneers’ Jason Pierre-Paul Released From Hospital After Car Crash

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul was reportedly involved in a car accident early Thursday morning, which sent him to the hospital.

Pierre-Paul should be okay though, as he was released from the hospital without any lasting injuries.

Pierre-Paul reportedly had a passenger in the car, but the accident was a single-car crash, with neither JPP or his passenger suffering major injuries.

Pierre-Paul was traded to the Bucs last season, after spending the first eight years of his career with the New York Giants.

In his first season in Tampa, JPP has 12.5 sacks, the most he had recorded in a single season since 2014.

The Buccaneers hope that he can return healthy next season and continue that elite production as a pass rusher.

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Football

Matthew Stafford’s Wife Returns Home After Successful Brain Surgery

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Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has a had a lot more to worry about this offseason than football.

Stafford’s wife, Kelly, recently underwent brain surgery to remove a tumor, after it was discovered earlier this year.

While there was some complications during the surgery, turning a six-hour procedure into a 12-hour one, Kelly is finally back home.

The Stafford’s discovered her tumor after Kelly had continuous bouts of vertigo back in January.

After doctors could not find a reason for the vertigo, Matthew’s team doctors suggested that she have an MRI. The MRI showed the brain tumor, which had to be removed.

Kelly had the surgery this past week and will now begin the long road of recovery as she has to retrain her body following the procedure.

Hopefully Kelly has a speedy recovery as she adjusts to life after the surgery.

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Football

Josh Rosen Traded to the Miami Dolphins

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When the Cardinals drafted Kyler Murray with the first overall pick last night, it was obvious that Josh Rosen’s days in Arizona were numbered.

Rosen, who was drafted 10th overall last year, had a rough first season as the Cardinals quarterback but many still believe he can be competent starting quarterback in the NFL.

Now it looks like his second chance will come in Miami, as the Dolphins traded to make him their franchise quarterback today.

The Cardinals received a late second round pick from Miami in the trade, which they used to select wide receiver Andy Isabella from UMass.

For the Dolphins this is a great low-risk, high-reward move as they did not have to give up too much draft capital to get the deal done.

If Rosen plays well, the Dolphins will finally have the franchise quarterback they have been searching for.

If Rosen is as bad as he was as a rookie, then the Dolphins will find themselves at the top of next year’s draft, just like the Cardinals this year, where they can then take their franchise quarterback.

Sounds like a win-win for the Dolphins, no matter what happens from here.

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