Kendall Fuller, a cornerback with the Washington Commanders and captain of the team, seems to be the only current NFL player to publicly support a clearly anti-LGBTQ organization — Fellowship of Christian Athletes — with his My Cause My Cleats in 2023.
Zero NFL players are supporting organizations that specifically support LGBTQ charities, a lengthy Outsports review of this year’s program has found. It’s only the second year since 2019 that is the case.
My Cause My Cleats has been an NFL-sanctioned program for several years that allows NFL players, coaches and other league personalities to support non-profit causes that align with their beliefs.
Last year, Fuller supported the American Heart Foundation with his cleats. Fuller has been in the NFL since being selected by Washington in the third round of the 2016 NFL Rookie Draft. Between Washington stints, he won a Super Bowl with the Kansas City Chiefs. He has recorded 16 career interceptions and one fumble recovery.
The Commanders have held a Pride Night — the first NFL team to do so — and the club will host its Pride Day Out this weekend. In fact, Fuller wore his cleats, supporting the anti-LGBTQ Fellowships of Christian Athletes, on the Commanders’ Pride Day.
Fuller had a not-so-great game, getting posterized against the Miami Dolphins more than once.
The club also has an LGBTQ employee group.
Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ anti-LGBTQ policies
As previously reported by Outsports, Fellowship of Christian Athletes bars LGBTQ people — or anyone supporting same-sex marriage or other LGBTQ rights — from holding leadership roles within the organization.
It’s impossible to believe that Fuller — a Black man — would support any organization that bars Black people from leadership roles, as so many churches did for so many years, no matter how “Christian” he, or the organization, is.
Here is what Fuller’s cleats honoring FCA look like:
As we pointed out with our report of Kirk Cousins’ support of the anti-LGBTQ Focus On The Family earlier this week, there are three possible explanations for Fuller’s public financial support for this homophobic and transphobic organization: 1) He knew about FCA’s support of homophobia and transphobia and didn’t care; 2) He knew and embraces it; Or 3) He’s ignorant of it all.
Those are the only three possibilities, none of which is good.
Fuller and the Commanders declined Outsports’ request for comment.
Other NFL players have found Christian organizations that do not in 2023 center (as far as Outsports can tell) homophobia and transphobia, including Luke Rhodes of the Indianapolis Colts supporting Global Christian Relief, and New England Patriots DT Christian Barmore supporting Lebanon County Christian Ministries.
Previous NFL player support for anti-LGBTQ causes
Various NFL athletes have previously supported the anti-LGBTQ Fellowship of Christian Athletes, including current Dallas Cowboys quarterback Trey Lance and Los Angeles Rams linebacker Christian Rozeboom. Rozeboom pleaded ignorance about FCA’s anti-LGBTQ positions; Lance wouldn’t comment. Both Lance and Rozeboom selected other charities to support in 2023.
NFL and team leaders have to be asked: How does this keep happening? Outsports has publicly shared — and directly identified — NFL players who have supported anti-LGBTQ groups like Fellowship of Christian Athletes on an annual basis for over five years.
There is no way they would allow an organization barring Black people or anyone supporting equality for Black people from leadership positions to be featured by any athlete’s cleats, no matter how Christian that organization is.
Yet they keep allowing Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Some NFL players are supporting anti-bullying and homelessness efforts
A few athletes are supporting causes that are LGBTQ-adjacent, helping the community in some way but not directly.
Barry Wesley, an offensive tackle with the Atlanta Falcons, is supporting Covenant House of Georgia, which centers the LGBTQ community in addition to other communities, in its support of all homeless youth.
There are a few players supporting STOMP Out Bullying, which at least mentions LGBTQ youth in its anti-bullying campaign (though we have no idea if that was a factor in these players’ decisions).
The athletes supporting STOMP Out Bullying in 2023 include some of Fuller’s teammates:
- Curtis Samuel, WR, Washington Commanders
- Trent Scott, OT, Washington Commanders
- Jalen Tolbert, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Here’s hoping for more pro-LGBTQ cleats, and fewer cleats supporting organizations with anti-LGBTQ policies, next year.