Redskins defensive end Ricky Jean Francois will honor former NBA sideline reporter Craig Sager’s memory by wearing a pair of colorful custom cleats Monday. Sager, who was known for his outlandish wardrobe, his passion for life and his courage, passed away Thursday at age 65 after a long battle with cancer.
“He inspired myself and so many others with his vibrant fashion sense and personality,” Jean Francois wrote on Instagram. “These cleats are my gesture of appreciation in honor of his memory, but also a way of continuing to raise awareness for the fight against cancer.”
Last Thursday, Redskins cornerback Josh Norman began his news conference with a tribute to Sager. Teammate DeSean Jackson reacted to the word of Sager’s death by calling him “one of the flyest sports anchors ever.” On Sunday, Lions receiver Golden Tate and Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. honored Sager with custom pairs of cleats. Beckham’s cleats will be auctioned off to raise money for the Sager Strong Foundation.
Jean Francois will presumably wear his custom Sager cleats during pregame warmups, an act permitted by league rules, before switching into his regular cleats for the game. Jean Francois and teammate Pierre Garcon wore custom “Pray for Haiti” cleats during warmups in Week 6, in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.