PHILADELPHIA -- Inspired by the women in his life, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts is using the NFL's "My Cause, My Cleats" initiative to advocate for women in sports and beyond.
"Women Empowerment" is written on one of the designer cleats for Sunday's game against the New York Jets, while the other shines a light on the Women's Sports Foundation, which was created by Billie Jean King in 1974 "to advance the lives of women and girls through sports and physical activity."
"I thought that was very important to show my support and play a role in equaling out the playing field for women in sports and women all around the world, really, when you talk about them being empowered to truly have equality in whatever field they choose to strive for," Hurts said.
"My mom [Pamela], she raised me with high character and to do things the right way. She's a counselor back home [in Houston, Texas] and that's a perfect platform to impact the people around you, to impact kids around you. I have a sister [Kynnedy] that's going to be a senior in high school next year and I know she has dreams and aspirations to do special things in her life, whatever it is. And I want her to know that she can do anything she puts her mind to, and know that her brother has her back."
Hurts also noted that he has a female agent, Nicole Lynn, and marketing agent, Rachel Everett, when explaining why this was an important area of focus for him. It was Lynn who first informed the Women's Sports Foundation that Hurts was planning on supporting their cause while at ESPN's Women + Sports Summit. ESPN is a sponsor of the Women's Sports Foundation.
Honored to work with you, J! 🖤 #WomenInSports https://t.co/CXEwnPMF0z— Nicole Lynn (@AgentNicoleLynn) December 2, 2021
"Having a male player put WSF on the cleats as part of this amazing initiative is pretty cool," said WSF chief strategy and impact officer Olga Harvey.
This isn't the first time the Women's Sports Foundation has been featured during "My Cause, My Cleats" week. Washington Football Team assistant running backs coach Jennifer King wore them last year. King was the recipient of WSF's Scott Pioli & Family Fund Grant in 2019 while she was a quality control coach at Dartmouth College, which helped to supplement her income as she climbed the coaching ladder.
"She benefitted directly from our advocacy for more women in the NFL," Harvey said. "[Hurts wearing the cleats] in a way is an even bigger statement, and just really shows that male athletes are here to support women fight for equality and create opportunities.
"Just the fact that he has Nicole Lynn as his agent is a statement as well. For us, it shows that the rules society has created can be truly reimagined if everyone changed them one person at a time. That's how you push for progress and ultimately inspire others. ... And while it's important for the Women's Sports Foundation to advocate for girls and women, when male allies do so, fans take notice, brands take notice, media takes notice, and it creates a conversation that ultimately leads to progress that is so overdue."