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Allen Park — Starting this week, the NFL kicks off its “My Cause, My Cleats” program where more than 800 players are expected showcase personal causes through their in-game footwear.

“The philanthropic passions of NFL players come to life in incredible ways all year long,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in a statement. “We are proud to expand our efforts to highlight the extraordinary impact of NFL players and teams in communities across the country.”

Players will have the opportunity to raise funds for the causes of their choosing by auctioning their cleats at NFL Auction. All of funds raised will be donated to charities selected by players. Fans may bid on game-issued player cleats at

This year, 18 Detroit Lions players are planning to participate. (See the gallery above to see some of their cleats and causes).

“My Cause, My Cleats” is scheduled to kick of a months-long imitative focused on player causes.

During the months of January and February, the NFL will focus specifically on the cause of social justice as part of its new “Inspire Change” initiative.

This new platform will highlight league, player and team programs and initiatives that reduce barriers to opportunity, with a priority on supporting improvements in education and economic advancement, community-police relations, and the criminal justice system.

Twitter: @justin_rogers