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Colts linebacker honoring best friend for 'My Cause My Cleats'

Anthony Walker Jr. is raising awareness for the Lupus Foundation on his shoes for Sunday's game in Houston.
Credit: AP
Indianapolis Colts linebacker Anthony Walker (54) warms up on the field before an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Zach Bolinger)

INDIANAPOLIS — This weekend, players around the NFL will be participating in the annual 'My Cause My Cleats' campaign.

Players will wear custom cleats showcasing foundations and causes close to their hearts. Several Colts players are getting involved with different charities, ranging from Riley Hospital for Children to IndyHumane to the American Cancer Society. 

This year, linebacker Anthony Walker Jr. is representing the Lupus Foundation of America in honor of one of his best friends, Hope. 

"Hope was my best friend since pretty much 10th or 11th grade," Walker said. "Literally always there. If I needed someone to talk to or 'Let's go hang out or catch a movie,' whatever I needed or wanted to do, she was with everything." 

Credit: Anthony Walker Jr.
Anthony Walker Jr.'s friend Hope died just before her 25th birthday.

Hope died on May 8, 2020, just a few years after being diagnosed with lupus and just a few months before her 25th birthday.

"It's been a lot. I'm not even gonna lie. You talk about a huge supporter of me on and off the field, you definitely miss having that person in your corner," Walker said.

Walker said he carries Hope with him everywhere he goes, and on Sunday, he'll be proudly representing her and raising awareness for the Lupus Foundation.

"Every year, I've pretty much done that with My Cause My Cleats — try to honor and represent people close to me. This one here really hits home," he said.

The Colts face the Texans at 1 p.m. Sunday.