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June 11, 2020

Eagles' DeSean Jackson reveals cleats honoring George Floyd

Outspoken receiver says he'll use his platform 'stand for what's right'

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson has unveiled a pair of custom cleats that pay tribute to George Floyd.

The veteran wide receiver shared several photos of the cleats on Instagram on Thursday. He partnered with artist Marcus Rivero, who previously designed a series of cleats for Jackson to honor his late friend and hip-hop artist Nipsey Hussle.

The cleats feature references to the painful details of how Floyd, a black man, was killed in the custody of Minneapolis police. The four police officers involved in the death have been fired from the police department and face criminal charges, including Derek Chauvin, who is white and charged with second-degree murder.

The three other Minneapolis police officers at the scene on May 25 are charged with aiding and abetting murder.

Video of Floyd's arrest shows Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds as the man pleaded that he couldn't breathe. The numbers on outside of one of Jackson's shoes — 0 hrs 8 min 46 sec — represent that time Chauvin had pinned Floyd to the ground. 

Rivero explained in his own Instagram post that he previously had made Jackson a pair of "I Can't Breathe" cleats. Jackson wore them in 2014 after Eric Garner was killed by police in New York City, his last words becoming a rallying cry.  

The updated cleats for Floyd say "I Can't Breathe Again" to underscore that police brutality and systemic racism continue to threaten black communities in the United States.

Jackson has become increasingly outspoken in the wake of Floyd's death, sharing powerful words with his teammates and urging others to take the time to understand the message of those who have attended protests across the country.

The NFL only allows custom cleats to be worn during games under certain circumstances, such as those designed for charitable causes as part of the "My Cleats, My Cause" campaign. 

While Jackson has worn the Nipsey Hussle cleats during practices in the past, it remains to be seen whether he'll choose to wear the cleats for Floyd during a game this fall, or if the NFL would dare fine him.