The NFL program is called "My Cause, My Cleats,'' and allows to wear customized cleats to represent organizations and movements that are meaningful to them.
For Atlanta Falcons star Cordarrelle Patterson, his cause is painfully personal.
“Me and my girlfriend, we lost a baby (Zyan) five years ago,” Patterson said in explaining his support of pregnancy and infant loss awareness. “We experienced it. It’s crazy because most people don’t even think about that stuff. She was 18 to 20 weeks and we actually still got to deliver the baby and then found out what was going on.
"I don’t want to get into too much detail. It was tough for us there for a while. Every day that goes by we still think about our son and what happened.”
Patterson is experiencing a brilliant season for 5-6 Atlanta, both as a running back (411 yards and four touchdowns) and a wide receiver (41 catches for 500 yards and five touchdowns). As the Falcons ready for today's Week 13 challenge against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he will surely be taking inspiration from his family's loss.
"For me, it’s real big for me and my family,'' he said. "And just looking back, man …it’s sad ... heartbreaking. But, it happens. God put us here for a reason. Everything happens for a reason, so we got a big, happy family now. We’re blessed.
But like I said, every day goes by where we miss out son.”
Added Patterson, who with partner Taylor is the father of three other children: “Honestly, it’s something you can’t process because you never think it can happen to you. We all think we’re invincible and bad things can’t happen to us, but every day something bad happens to someone. Unfortunately, that day was us.”
Patterson wears a gold chain around his neck and explains that the jewelry is in memory of Zyan.Patterson wears a gold chain around his neck and explains that the jewelry is in memory of Zyan.
“It has our son’s name on it and the lion on the back is his birthday. Every day. I never take this necklace off. Every day he’s on my mind. Every day I’m praying and thanking God for the opportunities I have and for the family I have right now. He’s missed. He’s gone, but never forgotten.”