(JTA) — New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman is wearing his support for baseball in Israel on his feet.
Edelman debuted custom cleats on Sunday featuring a Star of David and the logo of the Israel Baseball Association as part of the NFL’s fourth “My Cause, My Cleats’’ campaign. They will be auctioned off to raise money for his cause.
Twenty-two teammates and Patriots coach Bill Belichick also wore custom footwear in support of different charities and causes.
In a post on social media featuring a close-up photo of the cleats, Edelman recalled his first visit to Israel in 2015, which he called a “meaningful experience.”
“This year my cleats will benefit the Israel Baseball Association. They do so much for the Israeli community, bringing together people of all ages through the love of the game,” he wrote in the post. “They also support minor league youth baseball in Israel, and if you know anything about me you know I lived for little league.”
He concluded: “The Hebrew on the cleats says ‘yalla’ which means, ‘let’s go,’ because for the first time in the country’s history, Israel is going to compete in baseball in the Olympics. Baseball has always been my second favorite sport, and I’m pumped to see what those studs can do in Japan. Yalla!”
The Patriots lost to the Kansas City Chiefs, but Edelman scored a touchdown.
A year ago, during a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, he wore special cleats in honor of the victims of the October 2018 shooting attack on a synagogue building in that city.
The cleats bore the words “The Tree of Life” written in Hebrew, the logo of the Tree of Life Or L’Simcha Congregation — the synagogue targeted in the mass shooting — and an Israeli flag with the hashtag #strongerthanhate. He tweeted the list of the names of the 11 worshippers killed in the attack. The initials of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston also were stamped on the shoes.
The Golden West Food Group of California bought the cleats for $10,000 to benefit the families of the victims.