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A Voice for Our Ocean

Team Ocean Goes to Great Lakes and Transatlantic for My Cause My Cleats

Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals players Along with Sky Sports Reporter Support Ocean and Climate Issues

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WASHINGTON, D.C., December 3, 2020 – For the second consecutive year, multiple NFL players and personalities are supporting Ocean Conservancy for My Cause My Cleats. Cleveland Browns, running back, D’Ernest Johnson and Cincinnati Bengals defensive end, Khalid Kareem will be wearing ocean themed cleats for their games on Sunday, December, 6. Neil Reynolds, Sky Sports NFL reporter and host, will be wearing his Team Ocean cleats during Sky Sports’ Sunday Night Football coverage that same day.

Below is a description of each pair of cleats:

D’Ernest Johnson, running back, Cleveland Browns:

    • Quote: “I love being on the water and want to make sure everyone is doing all they can to protect our ocean for future generations,” says Johnson. “Growing up in Immokalee, going to school at the University of South Florida and spending time in the Keys, the link between my home state the water surrounding it is critical to our future. I wanted to join Team Ocean because the climate crisis is taking a heavy toll on Florida and I see the work Ocean Conservancy is doing there as a way to make progress on the many issues facing the state.”
    • Description: D’Ernest, who hails from Immokalee, Florida chose some of the iconic Florida wildlife for his cleats. His hometown is about an hour drive from Big Cypress Nature Preserve, home to the Florida Panther.

Moving from inland Florida to the water, D’Ernest wanted to highlight his love for the ocean, specifically his favorite ocean animal, the Sea Turtle. A Loggerhead Turtle features on his other cleat, a nod to the most widespread sea turtle species in the world, and the most abundant of all sea turtle species in the U.S.

 Khalid Kareem, defensive end, Cincinnati Bengals:

    • Quote: “Whether it was spending time on the Great Lakes or family vacations to the Bahamas, I’ve spent my life fascinated with the ocean and everything that lives beneath the surface,” says Kareem. “Sharks are my favorite and I know their livelihood as well as all sea life and all of us who depend on a healthy ocean are at the point where action is necessary. I’m happy to be a part of Team Ocean and support Ocean Conservancy’s work on the climate crisis and all of the issues facing our ocean.”
    • Description: Kareem’s favorite ocean species is the Great White Shark, which he hopes to see in person one day. With the words Take Action and an animated shark, he represents the Bengals’ orange with the laces.

Neil Reynolds, Sky Sports NFL Reporter/Host:

    • Quote: “I’ve always enjoyed spending time by the Sea and whenever my family and I are at the beach or even out a park, we are amazed by the amount of trash we find washed up,” says Reynolds. “I know that my platform allows for more people to see what’s going on and take action and I’m thrilled to join Khalid and D’Ernest for this year’s Team Ocean campaign.”
    • Description: Neil’s cleats represent his favorite wildlife and his hometown of London, home of the NFL’s International Series. A pod of Bottle Nose Dolphins, Neil’s favorite, huddle together on one cleat with an appearance from a clownfish.

The other cleat shows the River Thames, which is connected to the North Sea and is home to 125 different species of fish. Some of London’s iconic landmarks; The Palace of Westminster, Tower Bridge and The London Eye appear on the cleat as well.

Starting with Ocean Conservancy’s role as the Ocean Partner for the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee in 2019, Team Ocean provides ways for sports teams, leagues and players to take action in support of the ocean. With Kareem and Johnson’s support, Team Ocean now counts nine NFL players amongst its roster of supporters and Reynolds is the first broadcaster. This group is doing their part to combat the Climate Crisis with Ocean Conservancy and has expanded to other sports including Major League Baseball and retired San Francisco Giant, Hunter Pence and the English Premier League with West Ham United midfielder, Pablo Fornals.

“We are so excited D’Ernest, Khalid and Neil are standing up for science and our ocean for this year’s My Cause My Cleats initiative” said George Leonard, Chief Scientist of Ocean Conservancy. “The climate crisis is impacting our ocean and communities every day, and it demands urgency and action from all of us.  These athletes and teams have phenomenal reach – to their fans, their communities and the sports world at large. We look forward to more teams and players joining Team Ocean to show what is possible when we all show up for our ocean.”

For more information about Ocean Conservancy’s work with the world of sports, please visit oceanconservancy.org and follow @OurOcean for updates.

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