While the NFL has traditionally frowned upon individual expression on the field, the league was singing a much different tune during Week 13.
The “My Cause, My Cleats” campaign gave players the opportunity to have custom footwear designed in an effort to bring attention to various causes they're passionate about. Some athletes chose community organizations such as The Boys and Girls Club, while others selected life-changing medical organizations such as Shriners Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House.
Each player chose their cause for a specific reason, and for one Dallas Cowboys player, his reason is his family.
Center Joe Looney selected the United States Army as his cause in honor of the men and women who serve our country — more specifically, his father-in-law.
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) November 29, 2017
“I chose the U.S. Army because I have a bunch of family members that have served and are still serving,” he said in a video posted to Facebook. “My father-in-law was in the U.S Army. He served overseas for a couple of years and he came back home and is suffering from a couple of PTSD issues.”
He added that those who protect “us,” “our families,” and our “country,” mean a lot to him, and he's thankful for the “men and women that go over there and put themselves in harm's way.”
Looney added that on top of sacrificing to serve their country, veterans often deal with similar issues as his father-in-law when they return home. He said that “the least I can do is give back and show my support for them.”
Watch his statement below.