Detroit Lions safety Tracy Walker has been hoping for justice since his cousin Ahmaud Arbery was killed in Georgia in 2020. Last week, that justice came swiftly with the conclusion of the case.
Even though the trial is now technically over, Walker is smartly making sure that Arbery’s memory does not fade. That’s why the safety has chosen to wear cleats bearing his image for this season’s version of My Cause, My Cleats in order to make sure that Arberry is never forgotten even after the trial has concluded.
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Walker spoke with the media in an interview posted to DetroitLions.com on Wednesday, December 1 and talked about his decision to wear cleats with Arbery’s face. As he said, it’s part of an ongoing tribute for his cousin, as he continues to highlight him both before and even after his murder.
“I’ve been kind of doing that for like the last year or so. It’s just me continuing to push out his name, with the conviction, everything that’s been going on with all that. I just thought it was a way to continue to push out his name, basically just represent him and everything he’s done for us. That’s kind of the whole why and what the whole theme of my cleats were,” Walker explained. “They have Black Lives Matter. It’s self-explanatory. I know everybody always says all lives matter, but in that situation, I just want to represent my cousin.”
As Walker said, the design on the cleats was provided to him by someone the team suggested, and he was happy with how they turned out. In terms of the verdict itself, Walker was also pleased.
“It was a great day for me, like I said, it was a sigh of relief,” Walker explained. “It was sad we had to wait this long for action to take place, but at the end of the day, we got to control what we can control and we’re happy with the verdict. At the end of the day, we’re going to keep moving forward and keep on going.”
Arbery will certainly never be forgotten, and Walker is going to ensure that with his choice of cleat attire for this week on the field.
Other Lions Players Planning Cleat Tributes
Walker isn’t the only Lions player that is planning to get involved in Week 13. Some other Lions players showcased their cleats this week, and wideout Kalif Raymond as well as safety Jalen Elliott were getting involved. Elliott’s cleats are supporting the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, while Raymond’s will support Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Raymond got to experience the program in college where he realized he loved it, while Elliott had attended Boys and Girls Clubs when he was young.
Here’s a look at both players revealing their cleats for the weekend:
The Lions do a great job year in and year out promoting the cleats and causes of their players, and 2021 is no different. It will be fun to see the snazzy cleats on the field, but also to begin to understand the stories behind what the players support.
My Cause, My Cleats Has Become an NFL Tradition
It’s not just the Lions players who have a chance to show what is meaningful to them. Across the league, players take time in Week 13 to wear cleats of causes that are near and dear to their hearts. It’s part of a program that the league started many years ago.
“NFL players reveal their passions beyond the game and wear their hearts on their feet through My Cause My Cleats. Players have the opportunity to pick a cause that is important to them and represent their chosen organization on custom designed cleats,” it explains on the league’s official site as to the program which happens for one week a season in the league.
The tradition has been a positive one for the league, as it allows heightened awareness for different causes, charities and other special things that are near and dear to the hearts of players. With this added awareness has come more chances for charities and causes to get support, both vocal and monetary.
In the case of the Lions, there is no shortage of positive causes that will be displayed. That is once again the case with Walker and Arbery as well.