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James Smith-Williams supports The Purple Leash Project during the My Cause My Cleats campaign


The Washington Commanders' defensive end wore custom cleats over the weekend in support of The Purple Leash Project

James Smith-Williams and a dog at a local shelter in Arlington, Virginia (Images courtesy of Purina).

James Smith-Williams and a dog at a local shelter in Arlington, Virginia (Images courtesy of Purina).

James Smith-Williams, defensive end for the Washington Commanders, wore custom-made cleats during his game against the New York Giants in support of The Purple Leash Project as part of the My Cause My Cleats campaign. The Purple Leash Project is a national initiative established by Purina and the nonprofit RedRover in 2019 to provide grants, resources, and support to help domestic violence shelters be better equipped to 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, in an organizational release.1 "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."

James Smith-Williams custom-designed cleats highlighting the Purple Leash Project

James Smith-Williams custom-designed cleats highlighting the Purple Leash Project

According to the release,1 the My Cause My Cleats program lets players pick a cause important to them and they represent that organization through custom-design cleats on game day during week 13. Then, all players can donate the cleats to an action where fans can place bids on the cleats. 100% of the proceeds from the auction go toward each player's organization. For Smith-Williams, the proceeds raised from his cleats auction will go to the Purple Leash Project.

"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."1

Bids for the cleats will be accepted through December 11, 2022, on the Washington Commanders' website.


PURINA AND REDROVER TAKE THE FIELD WITH WASHINGTON COMMANDERS' JAMES SMITH-WILLIAMS TO SUPPORT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SURVIVORS AND PETS DURING MY CAUSE MY CLEATS CAMPAIGN. News release. Purina. December 2, 2022. Accessed December 5, 2022. https://prnmedia.prnewswire.com/news-releases/purina-and-redrover-take-the-field-with-washington-commanders-james-smith-williams-to-support-domestic-violence-survivors-and-pets-during-my-cause-my-cleats-campaign-301692188.html

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