This Sunday, December 3, standout rookie Garett Bolles of the Denver Broncos will be sporting cleats with special meaning to the 70 million people with learning and thinking differences. It’s a part of the NFL’s “My Cause My Cleats” initiative. Players get a chance to showcase a cause that’s close to their hearts (or feet!). Bolles will wear custom-designed cleats in support of Understood founding partner the National Center for Learning Disabilities.
Bolles talked about his own challenges with a in a press statement. “Kids would make fun of me just because I couldn’t read and I couldn’t say certain words,” he said. “One in five kids … That’s not something we should overlook.”
He’s not only giving back, he hasn’t been held back. The starting tackle was a first-round NFL draft pick and is the only rookie player on the Broncos to play every game this season. On his Twitter account, Bolles provided a touching explanation for celebrating people who learn and think differently:
As someone who was told I’d never achieve my dreams because of a learning disability, I’m excited to use my cleats to raise awareness for @ncldorg! They protect the rights of everyone with a learning disability, and I hope my cleats provide them with deserved recognition! #ThankU pic.twitter.com/DPBONNic71 — Garett Bolles (@gbolles72) November 30, 2017
Bolles is one of many athletes who have shared their struggles with learning and thinking differences.
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Tara Drinks is an associate editor at Understood.