'My Cause, My Cleats' hits close to home for former Kentucky Wildcats

On3 imageby:Nick Roush12/03/23


Each year the NFL relaxes its official dress code to allow football players to personalize their attire by expressing their commitment to the causes that are most important to them. This weekend a couple of former Wildcats will wearing cleats that speak to charities that hit near their old Kentucky home.

Two former Cats will be rocking special shoes on the sidelines during tomorrow night’s Monday Night Football when the Jaguars host the Bengals. Josh Allen will be supporting his teammate. He unveiled his Travon Walker Foundation shoes while standing alongside his partner in crime.

Luke Fortner is collaborating with an organization who has roots in the Big Blue Nation. The Marco Shemwell Foundation was created not long after the four-year-old Kentucky fan was tragically killed by an automobile while leaving a Kentucky football game in 2018. Through #MarcoMoments, the foundation spreads joy while raising awareness about safety and preventable injury, while creating safe spaces and opportunities for children and families.

Former Kentucky Wildcat Luke Fortner's Marco Shemwell cleats
via the Marco Shemwell Foundation

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Josh Paschal Leans on Personal Experience for “My Cause, My Cleats”

Cancer awareness saved Josh Paschal‘s life. The Kentucky training staff identified a spot on the defensive lineman’s foot and directed him to experts at the Markey Cancer Center. The delivered early treatment for malignant melanoma. Paschal survived, then thrived.

His cancer diagnosis sidelined him for one season. Upon his return, he propelled Kentucky to its second 10-win season in the last 40+ years and rose up draft boards to become a second round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. The Detroit Lions’ defensive lineman joined ESPN’s NFL Live to express why he is supporting The V Foundation through My Cause, My Cleats.

“I just think that if you’re able to spread awareness about this, especially to African-American males who may not think they can have skin cancer, when they see somebody with a platform like this, they’ll be able to know, ‘Maybe I need to go get this checked.'”

In addition to the cleats he will be wearing, Paschal had custom Air Forced Ones created. He showed Hannah Storm the place-marker on the sole of the shoe that pinpoints the location of the cancerous growth he had removed five years ago.

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