Press release: Purina
As part of the 2022 NFL My Cause My Cleats campaign, James Smith-Williams, defensive end for the Washington Commanders, will wear his heart on his feet by representing the Purple Leash Project during the December 4 matchup against the New York Giants. The Purple Leash Project is a national initiative established in 2019 by Purina and nonprofit RedRover to provide grants, resources and support to help domestic violence shelters better serve the needs of domestic abuse survivors with pets.
“Over the past several months, I’ve had the opportunity to partner with Purina and RedRover to see the pet-friendly shelters and services the Purple Leash Project provides for domestic violence survivors and pets,” said Smith-Williams. “As a pet owner and domestic violence advocate, I’m honored to lace up on December 4 in support of the Purple Leash Project, further spotlighting the issue and the critical importance that pets play in the lives of survivors as companions, healers, and four-legged family members.”
Through the My Cause My Cleats program, players pick a cause that’s important to them and represent their chosen organization by way of custom-designed cleats on game day during week 13. After their respective game, all players will have the option to donate their cleats to an auction where fans can bid on the cleats. Following the auction, 100 percent of proceeds will go toward the player’s respective causes, and in Smith-Williams’s case, the proceeds from the sale of his cleats will benefit the Purple Leash Project. Smith-Williams cleats will be up for auction at the Washington Commanders website and will be accepting bids through December 11.
“James shares our passion for pets and supporting survivors, he’s been an integral part of the Purple Leash Project off the field this year,” said Nina Leigh Krueger, CEO and president of Purina. “We’re excited to see James lace up his Purple Leash Project cleats in support of domestic violence survivors with pets on the field this Sunday. By working together, we can continue to broaden conversations around this issue and help more survivors and their pets escape abuse and heal together.”
Smith-Williams and the Commanders will take on the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium at 1 p.m. ET on December 4.