Eagles

Eagles

Eagles veteran wide receiver DeSean Jackson has been putting his personal platform to good use amid the ongoing national protests against institutional racism in the United States.

On Thursday, Jackson combined his love of football with his desire to keep speaking out for justice.

Jackson shared a pair of custom cleats dedicated to George Floyd, the 46-year-old black man who was killed in Minneapolis last month by a police officer in an incident caught on camera. The officer kneeled on his neck for an extended period of time while Floyd was handcuffed.

The cleats, designed by Florida-based artist Marcus Rivero, include a number of design elements. 

On the outside of the left shoe, Floyd's face is painted over a tie-dye background. On the outside of the right shoe, the amount of time the police officer spent kneeling on Floyd's neck is painted over the same background.

On the inside of the right shoe, the phrase "No justice, no peace" is painted in cursive over a football-colored background. On the inside of the left shoe, a raised fist and the initials "B.L.M." for Black Lives Matter is painted over the same background.

And the designs on the toes combined to display the phrase, "I can't breathe again", a reference to Floyd's last words, and the shirts protesters wore in 2014 after the killing of Eric Garner in New York City.

Here's a look:

Jackson added this caption to the photos of the cleats:

"I’m making my mark, Regardless of the feedback. I’m taking a stance on justice & using my platform to stand for what’s right !! @_stak5_ let’s fight the fight bro ✊🏾 @solesbysir 🔥 #nojusticenopeace #georgefloyd"

Earlier this spring, Jackson spoke up about racism during an Eagles team meeting shortly after Floyd's death.

Eagles center Jason Kelce said Jackson's words about Floyd, and about racism, were so moving that he felt compelled to speak out himself.

It's unclear if Jackson plans on wearing the cleats for football purposes during the 2020 preseason or regular season.

The NFL changed its rules in 2017, allowing players to wear custom-designed cleats during pre-game warm-ups, though there were restrictions, including not allowing designs taht are "political or offensive in any way".

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell recently issued a statement apologizing for the league's past treatment of peaceful protests by players, and encouraging players to speak out. It's unclear if his encouragement extends to cleats designed to send a societal message.

Jackson has a history of wearing custom cleats as a way of expressing himself. Last season, Jackson wore custom-designed cleats to honor his friend, rapper and community leader Nipsey Hussle, after Hussle's death.

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