Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib supports the LGBTQ+ community through the Trevor Project with rainbow cleats for the NFL’s My Cause My Cleats.
In Week 13, NFL players have the opportunity to “wear their hearts on their feet.”
That’s the intention of the NFL’s My Cause My Cleats campaign, which allows NFL players to wear artistically-designed cleats representing the cause and charity they support most fervently.
For Carl Nassib, the NFL’s only openly gay player, that means supporting his LGBTQ+ community with cleats dedicated to The Trevor Project.
Nassib’s cleats are the fourth pair featured in a teaser video the Las Vegas Raiders released ahead of Sunday.
The cleats feature a navy backdrop with “The Trevor Project” written on the outer side. The shoelace tabs are each a different color, representing the rainbow color scale often used to symbolize the LGBTQ+ spectrum. The top of the cleat features a tab with the inscription, “Protect LGBTQ+ lives.”
Raiders DE Carl Nassib dedicates cleats to supporting the LGBTQ+ community
According to their website, The Trevor Project is “the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning) young people.”
During Pride Month, which is celebrated in June, Nassib publicly came out on Instagram and announced he was partnering with The Trevor Project. The Trevor Project thanked Nassib for his $100,000 donation and for “living his truth and supporting LGBTQ youth.”
“We hope that Carl’s historic representation in the NFL will inspire young LGBTQ athletes across the country to live their truth and pursue their dreams,” the press release read.
Nassib’s visibility is appreciated, as his massive platform as an NFL player can help reach one of the estimated 1.8 million LGBTQ+ youth that contemplate suicide every year. Nassib’s personal decision to publicly come out as the NFL’s first openly gay player increases visibility and acceptance for this community, which can boost feelings of belonging and self-worth for those who are struggling.
Cleveland Browns fullback Johnny Stanton is joining Nassib in supporting the LGBTQ+ community as an ally, dedicating his cleats to Athlete Ally.
“I wanted to back a cause that was important to me as an athlete,” Stanton told Outsports. “The fact that some people don’t feel comfortable enough in their own identity to participate in sports breaks my heart. No one should feel unwelcome on the field or the court. If just one person being an ally can help them feel more comfortable, then I’m happy to be that person.”
Nassib, unfortunately, won’t play on Sunday for the Raiders. However, his message will certainly be heard with his cleats.