KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Former University of Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson is auctioning a pair of his game-worn cleats to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association of Tennessee.
Johnson, now with the NFL’s Dever Broncos, wore the purple cleats during the league’s My Cause My Cleats week against the Houston Texans.
For Johnson the search for a cure to end Alzheimer’s disease is personal. Johnson lost his grandmother Lezora Hall to the disease in 2018.
“Before she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, she was a leader in her community,” Johnson said of his grandmother. “She was known for starting one of the first Cub Scout chapters in Georgia and she used to feed the homeless in our neighborhood.”
The online auction can be found on Johnson’s clothing website, chiefbeast.com. It runs until Feb. 26.
The proceeds raised from the auction will help the Alzheimer’s Association fund critical support services, educational programming and research for a cure.
“When a family member is dealing with this disease, you have to stay strong and continue loving them,” Johnson said. “It’s so hard on caregivers to care for them day in and day out, but continuing to show them love is key.”