Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Michael Pierce announced Wednesday that he'll be promoting fellowship between American Christians and the people of Israel when he hits the field this Sunday, as part of the NFL's third annual "My Cause My Cleats" initiative.
What are the details?
"My Cause My Cleats" is an opportunity for NFL players to sport customized footwear during games on a chosen week each year, supporting nonprofit organizations close to their individual hearts.
More than 500 players will participate in the 2018 campaign, and afterward their bedazzled footwear will be auctioned off with 100 percent of the proceeds going to each designated cause they represent.
Pierce, 26, hopes that his promotion of Israel Collective will bring attention and donations to the 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to "building vibrant relationships between American Christians and the people of the Holy Land."
In a YouTube video, Pierce talked about why he is supporting the chosen cause, and how his experience with the organization impacted his life:
"Having an Israel flag was paramount for me," said Pierce, who is from Daphne, Alabama. "Growing up, reading the Bible, hearing Bible stories, and learn exactly what Jesus walked is awesome. To go over [to the Holy Land] and see the difference, and see just exactly how the culture is...how warm people are, is definitely something that I hope that people will read about and then maybe go over and (if they are able, of course) and to be able to see exactly what's going on."
Other participants in this year's My Cause My Cleats campaign include New York Giants wide receiver Russell Shepard, who will be supporting mental health awareness in honor of his brother; Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry, endorsing research for Hodgkin's Lymphoma after his own battle with cancer; and Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson, who is campaigning against bullying after experiencing it as a child.
"One of the great NFL traditions is how our players passionately support important causes in their communities and around the globe every year," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "They are incredibly creative by nature so we are not surprised how they are seizing the opportunity this week with inspiring expressions of their charitable commitments on their cleats, online and through social media."