When the Seahawks host the Giants at Lumen Field this weekend, they'll be playing for each other and for their fans, as always, but they'll also be playing for numerous causes that are near and dear to their hearts.
As part of the NFL's annual My Cause, My Cleats campaign, players, coaches, general manager John Schneider and even the team's mascot, Blitz, will wear custom cleats and shoes that represent a wide range of nonprofit organizations and causes.
For some, the causes are very personal, perhaps none more so than defensive end L.J. Collier, who is representing the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Collier lost his mother, Ruby, to pancreatic cancer when he was a freshman at TCU.
"She missed so much, things I'm doing now," Collier said last season. "She's why I play the game. I know she's with me every game. I pray to her every game and I know she's looking over me. I tell myself every time I get out there, I've got to make a statement today. She's watching, so I've got to make plays today."
Schneider will represent Ben's Fund, the nonprofit he and his wife Traci started and named after their son, Ben, who was diagnosed with Autism as a young child. Tackle Brandon Shell, who struggled with a stutter growing up and has since used his platform to help kids with speech impediments, will show his support for the National Stuttering Association. Guard Mike Iupati, who has seen multiple relatives struggle with Alzheimer's, will represent the Alzheimer's Association. And cornerback Tre Flowers will honor Bryce Wisdom by supporting the Kidney Cancer Association. Wisdom, a huge Seahawks fan, died of kidney cancer earlier this year. Wisdom attended Judon High School, Flowers' alma mater, and the two had become close over the past year, and earlier this year Flowers dedicated this season to his friend.
"He meant the world to me, really," Flowers said earlier this season. "I met him late, but I would always see him at games when I was younger, him and his younger brother. I would just always see him with a smile on his face, and with everything going through his life, it was crazy. I couldn't imagine what he was going through, but he always had a smile, and he always was happy. He really changed my life. The Year 3 y'all see is definitely because of him; I can't overthink things, seeing the kid go through that. He's my angel forever, for real."
Several players chose causes related to social and racial justice, including Shaquill and Shaquem Griffin (The BIPOC Project), running back Chris Carson (Choose 180), running back DeeJay Dallas (Justice For Black Girls), quarterback Geno Smith (Black Women's Health Imperative), and defensive line coach Clint Hurtt (Common Ground Foundation).
Other players will represent their own nonprofit foundations, including Tyler Lockett's Light It Up Foundation & OK Ballerz Incorporated, and Russell Wilson and Ciara's Why Not You Foundation. Wilson's cleats were designed by local artist Takiyah Ward, and include portraits of black men and women killed at the hands of police.
Several coaches will also wear custom shoes, including head coach Pete Carroll, who will support Urban Artworks, a Seattle-based nonprofit that aims to "engage youth and communities in the creation of public art that inspires connections and honors their voices."
Carroll has been supporting Urban Artworks throughout the season, including by donating the proceeds after auctioning off custom "Coach the Vote" shoes he has worn for some games this year.
"This local group Urban Artworks is doing a bunch of great work," Carroll said. "They are helping young artists in terms of jobs and placement and giving them a chance to be seen and heard. We have a group that we work with, our company is called Amplified Voices, and we have worked with them on a couple causes here, also Coach the Vote we spent some time, and we're really proud to be able to represent and help young artists be seen and be heard. Amplifying people's work is really something we're excited about."
Blitz, the Seahawks mascot, is even getting in on the action, sporting two different custom mascot shoes, one representing the Schneiders' Ben's Fund, and the other representing Wilson's Why Not You Foundation.
Here's the full list of causes that will represented by the Seahawks on Sunday:
LB Cody Barton: Noble Horse Sanctuary Animal Cruelty
LB Ben Burr-Kirven: Testicular Cancer Society
RB Chris Carson: Choose 180
DE L.J. Collier: Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
RB DeeJay Dallas: Justice For Black Girls
TE Will Dissly: The Nature Project
CB Quinton Dunbar: Black Men Heal
CB Tre Flowers: Kidney Cancer Association
LB Shaquem Griffin: The BIPOC Project
CB Shaquill Griffin: The BIPOC Project
WR Penny Hart: Read & Right ATL
S Lano Hill: Northwest Sarcoma Foundation
TE Jacob Hollister: Save The Children
G Mike Iupati: Alzheimer's Association
WR Tyler Lockett: Light It Up Foundation & OK Ballerz Incorporated
WR DK Metcalf: Prison Fellowship
DT Byran Mone: Choice Supports
WR David Moore: Children's Tumor Foundation
LS Tyler Ott: WAVE Foundation
DE Alton Robinson: Alzheimer's Association
OT: Brandon Shell: National Stuttering Association
QB Geno Smith: Black Women's Health Imperative
WR Freddie Swain: Alzheimer's Association
QB Russell Wilson: Why Not You Foundation
Seahawks players, coaches, staff, and even Blitz will wear custom designed cleats and shoes supporting causes they feel passionate about during Week 13 vs. the New York Giants on December 6. This Seahawks gameday featured gallery is presented by Symetra.