NFL’s ‘My Cause My Cleats’ shines spotlight on North Dakota’s Brave the Shave

Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 2:12 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Offensive linemen usually don’t get much credit for their work in a football game. It’s their job to protect the quarterback, block the defense and help running backs get open.

Now, one NFL offensive lineman is getting some much-deserved attention, all because of the cleats he wore in Sunday’s game. Those shoes also put one North Dakota-based charity in the spotlight.

Working on Sundays never gets old for Daniel Brunskill. He’s been an offensive lineman for the San Francisco 49ers since 2019.

“It’s a surreal moment out there,” he said.

Brunskill grew up in California but considers North Dakota his second home.

“My family all lives there,” Brunskill explained.

So, to Brunskill, it only made sense to choose a North Dakota-based cause for the NFL’s “My Cause My Cleats” initiative.

“Players can pick organizations like Brave the Shave or places that are a little bit closer to home and more personal to them,” Brunskill said.

And so, in Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins, number 60 wore these specially designed Brave the Shave cleats.

Daniel Brunskill, #60, wearing his blue and gold Brave the Shave cleats on Sunday
Daniel Brunskill, #60, wearing his blue and gold Brave the Shave cleats on Sunday(Courtesy: Daniel Brunskill)

“I love them! It was so cool to see Brave the Shave on that field,” said Brave the Shave Executive Director LaShae Graf.

Brave the Shave is an organization near and dear to LaShae Graf’s heart. Three years ago, her son Ashton was diagnosed with pediatric cancer.

“One day he couldn’t walk and next thing we are spending nine months straight at Mayo,” she recalled. “I didn’t know anything about pediatric cancer at that point in time.”

She quickly learned about pediatric cancer, and about Brave the Shave.

“Brave the Shave was the first North Dakota group to reach out to us and ask, ‘How can we help?’” she said.

Now, Ashton is in remission and LaShae is the executive director of Brave the Shave. Brave the Shave is currently helping 150 North Dakota families dealing with pediatric cancer. Her dream is to grow beyond North Dakota and help families nationwide.

Thanks to Daniel Brunskill and these special cleats, she might be a step closer to achieving that goal.

Brunskill will donate the cleats he wore to Brave the Shave. They’ll auction them off at a future event.

Daniel Brunskill's Brave the Shave cleats
Daniel Brunskill's Brave the Shave cleats(Courtesy: Daniel Brunskill)