Sportress of Blogitude

Russell Wilson’s new cleats feature images of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor

When Russell Wilson takes the field Sunday when the Seattle Seahawks host the New York Giants at Lumen Field, the superstar quarterback will be wearing new cleats that call attention to his commitment to social and racial justice.

This weekend marks the fifth season of the NFL’s “My Cause My Cleats” initiative, which allows players to promote non-profit organizations and causes near and dear to their hearts.

Wilson opted to represent Black Lives Matter, and his cleats bear the images of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, two tragic faces of the burgeoning movement inspired by their police officer-involved deaths earlier this year.

Wilson’s cleats also feature the likenesses of Charleena Lyles and Herbert Hightower, whose deaths hit close to home in the Seattle community.

Lyles, a mother of four, was shot and killed by two white police officers in her Seattle home in 2017, per The News TribuneHightower was fatally shot by Seattle police in 2004 during what was reported to be a mental-health crisis.

The officer-involved deaths of Floyd and Taylor are of course much more well known across the country. Wilson discussed his cleats and why he chose these particular images and likenesses during his media availability on Thursday.

“No matter where we live, no matter where we are, people’s lives matter. Black Lives Matter,” Wilson said of his cleats.

Wilson added that the tragic deaths of Black Americans like Floyd and Taylor make him worry about his 3 1/2-year-old daughter Sienna growing up in the U.S.

“You know, we need justice for (these killings),” Wilson said.

“We want to bring the world together and make it a better place. That’s what’s represented on my cleats today.”

A record number of NFL players are participating in “My Cause My Cleats” this weekend, per the league, as more than 1,000 have signed on.

“A responsibility to lead, and to love and to help people,” Wilson said of the obligation he has to use his platform to make a difference, and his BLM cleats are part of his efforts to initiate change.