Bears cornerback Prince Amukamara counts a long list of coaches among the mentors who helped shape him into the player and person he is today.
They made such an impact on him that many were groomsmen in his wedding.
So when Amukamara was deciding on a cause to support as part of the NFL's "My Cause, My Cleats" campaign this month, he gravitated toward a Chicago organization that provides mentorship for youth through boxing.
The Bloc was founded by Jamyle Cannon, whose wife, Juli, taught Amukamara's sister when they lived in Arizona. Amukamara liked the idea of the foundation and decided to support them this month when dozens of Bears players are wearing specially made cleats, including Sunday during warm-ups before the game against the Rams at Soldier Field.
The cleats represent causes that are important to the players. After the game the shoes will be auctioned online, with proceeds going to each charity.
"Being mentored has been huge in my life," said Amukamara, who also donated Bears tickets to the Bloc. "With the rate of people growing up in single-parent homes and with no fathers, just someone who knows about life, who has more wisdom than you and can help groom you and walk through life with you, it definitely helps and shows you're not alone. I wouldn't be where I am now if I didn't have mentors."
Bears tight end Trey Burton, who was named the Bears' nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award on Thursday, will be representing a cause he has been supporting financially all season.
Burton is donating $1,000 per catch and $2,500 per touchdown this season to the International Justice Mission, which aims to end human trafficking and slavery. Burton has been involved with the organization since after his rookie season of 2014.
"I feel like I'm called to do that," Burton said of his service to such organizations. "All of us have an influence, an opportunity, a platform. If we're just playing football, we're wasting our time."
Bears center Cody Whitehair is supporting Youth Entrepreneurs, an organization that aims to educate young people on best business practices. His father-in-law, now a retired teacher, taught one of the group's first classes in Kansas, and the program now operates in several locations in Chicago.
"It teaches them to do business the right way, how to treat people the right way and how to work with people with respect," Whitehair said. "That's a great business model, so I figured why not support it."
Here's the full list of the causes the Bears will be supporting Sunday:
--Adrian Amos: Alzheimer's Association
--Prince Amukamara: The Bloc Foundation
--Ben Braunecker: Benson M. Abercrombie '21 Fund
--Daniel Brown: Wright-Way Rescue
--Michael Burton: Embrace Kids Foundation
--Trey Burton: International Justice Mission
--Deon Bush: Doby's Dream
--Leonard Floyd: Bears Care
--Kyle Fuller: SADS Foundation
--Taylor Gabriel: Lisa Colagrossi Foundation
--Eddie Goldman: YWCA Lake County
--DeAndre Houston-Carson: ORPHANetwork
--Jordan Howard: Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation
--Eddie Jackson: Safer Foundation
--Charles Leno Jr.: Special Olympics of Illinois
--Khalil Mack: Lupus Foundation of America
--Bobby Massie: Chicago Voyagers
--Anthony Miller: Crohn's and Colitis Foundation
--Bilal Nichols: Bears Care
--Pat O'Donnell: The University of Chicago Medical Center
--Cody Parkey: Lutzie 43 Foundation
--Roy Robertson-Harris: Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
--Allen Robinson: Within Reach Foundation
--Patrick Scales: Colleen's Dream Foundation
--Danny Trevathan: United Way of Metropolitan Chicago-Character Playbook
--Mitch Trubisky: Thumbs Up Mission
--Cody Whitehair: Youth Entrepreneurs