Miami artist Marcus Rivero on how Matthews’ custom ‘My Cause My Cleats’ were created


It’s Week 13 in the NFL, marking the return of the league’s “My Cause My Cleats” campaign, which began in 2016. The leaguewide initiative allows players to bypass uniform guidelines and wear customized cleats in support of a charitable cause of their choice. For his cleats, Matthews, a close friend and former college teammate of Kaepernick’s at the University of Nevada, honors his friend’s youth awareness campaign, the Know Your Rights camp.

“I dont have a foundation, so I have chosen to support my brother @kaepernick7 foundation @yourrightscamp for #MyCauseMyCleats,” Matthews wrote on Instagram, where he debuted the cleats on Wednesday. “He has paid the ultimate sacrifice in order to bring true everyday issues to light. Please follow the page & go to the website to learn more. We Should ALL Know Our Rights & Be Able to Express Them Freely.”

The cleats were designed by Miami artist Marcus Rivero, aka SolesBySir, who’s been customizing shoes for football players for the past five years, with an NFL clientele that includes Drew BreesPhilip RiversJoe FlaccoTom BradyJ.J. WattDeSean JacksonTerrell SuggsJalen Ramsey and more. Before Matthews takes the field against the Texans, The Undefeated caught up with Rivero, who detailed the design process of the shoes, from the wide receiver’s mind to the artist’s final brushstroke.

How did the idea for Matthews’ Kaepernick cleats come about?

Rishard and I have been working together all season. Our first pair was very calm because it was Rishard’s first time doing customs. As the weeks progressed, a lot of current events were coming up and he wanted to take stances. With My Cause My Cleats coming about, he basically told me … ‘I want to stand with Kaep.’ There’s been a bond there since the beginning. I was like, ‘OK …’ We went back and forth, and believe it or not, this was a hard design to do.

What made it hard to execute?

We didn’t know whether we wanted to color the cleats. Whether we wanted to do all-black, all-white, gold. Rishard thought about it, slept on it. And last minute, he said, ‘You know what? Let’s just keep it simple, black and white.’ So my job as an artist is just basically to take what people give you — so, with Rishard, black and white — and make it a loud message, which is difficult. If you’re working with neon green, neon yellow, you can play to your advantage. But when you’re working with black and white, which is the standard color for all cleats issued, it’s hard.

I told Rishard he needs 100 yards and at least a touchdown. Because that’s what the shoes deserve.

What was Rishard truly looking for?

The first thing I said was, ‘Rishard, I want to go one and one. Let’s make each cleat not look like the other.’ He loved the idea. He sent me over the logos of the Know Your Rights Camp, so I put it on both outsides of the shoe. On the inside of his right shoe, it says ‘Know Your’ and on the opposite shoe, it says, ‘Rights Camp.’ So if you put your heels together, and open them up like a V, somebody in front of you can read the opposite of what you’re reading.

I still wanted to add something. He goes, ‘Let’s put Kaep’s name, and some sort of logo.’ We kept bouncing ideas back and forth. One was a fist, like Tommie Smith and John Carlos. I just did a cleat for DeSean Jackson with a brotherhood-type theme, and we used a fist. So I really didn’t want to do it again. I wanted to stand on our own on this. Literally, Rishard and I are FaceTiming. And sure enough we’re Googling images, and then the idea hit us, like, ‘Oh, let’s do Kaepernick on a knee and use his Afro as a fist.’

Was it hard to draw the image of Kaepernick kneeling with his Afro as a fist?

It wasn’t so much. I have a Microsoft Surface Pro that I use to make designs. Then I turn them into a stencil, which helps me out. Unfortunately, I can’t hand-draw every letter. We have to do a lot stencilling so that I can lay down the stencil, spray and then peel it off, just timingwise. With the Surface Pro that I’ve been using, it’s generally been like a walk in the park for me. The Kaepernick logo has a lot of detail, but at the same time it doesn’t. It’s very simple. It’s a cool logo.

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  • Before there was a me, there was a you. Thank you for teaching me all you did especially that talent without hard work is useless.  Appreciate all the ups and downs Bc it’s gotten me here. I wouldn’t have chosen any other dad. HAPPY FATHERS DAY, Dad. 
To all the Dads (and single moms that had to be dad) THANK YOU. May you spend many more Father’s Day with your mini me’s. 
#SolesBySir #1of1 #beforeThereWasAme #ThanksDad #LoveYou #SolesBySirWouldNeverHaveHappened
  • Life is all about balance. 
Physical and mental strength are both just as important in life. 
Remember these @dukejohnson__ ? We had a fun time with this 1of1, for the #MyCauseMyCleats campaign.

#SolesBySir #1of1 #customCleats #Cleveland #Browns #Hulk #DukeJohnson #UfaM #Duke #Miami #fam #HulkSmash #HulkYoga #Green #NeededATan #ItWasDecember #AndImAGinger
  • 1of1 cleats for the allstar, @trav_blankenhorn .

Welcome to the fam my dude. 
#SolesBySir #1of1 #customCleats #FortMyers #Miracle #TravisBlankenhorn #7 #AllStarCleats #FtMyersMiracle #MinorLeagues
  • In honor of the World Cup starting today, wanted to throw it back to 2014 when me and my brother @wessjr decided to take a once in a lifetime trip down to Rio de Janeiro,Brazil. 
It was my first ever soccer match I ever attended. And WOW!!!!! The World Cup did not disappoint. From the people, to the 8 A.M. steak and beach side drinks, to watching games at the fan fest, which was on the beaches of CopaCabana with sunsets that even photos do not do justice, a trip I couldn’t have imagined.

With that being said I am so excited for 2026 when North America gets to host the incredible sporting event. @wessjr @g.l.a.d.y.s.8.11  @bernardette6 @hcuneo @elyzabethvasconcellos @c.w.sisson @brookelynnisinthehouse  you all ready for travel plans???? #SolesBySir #1of1 #WorldCup #Rio #Brazil #WorldCup2014 #Copacabana #beaches #Soccer #DoOverParty #sunsets #thankful
  • Road warriors. 
#SolesBySir #1of1 #customCleats #AlexColome #Seattle #Mariners #NikeBaseball #48 #wpw #Splatter #customs #Mlb #GameCleats
  • Part 2 of 3 for my dude @alexcolome37 .

Something for the Retro unis. “Algo para el uniforme Retro”

Who’s your favorite @mariners of all time?

#SolesBySir #1of1 #customCleats #AlexColome #SeattleMariners #Mariners #Seattle #Retro #Throwback #Newteam #NewHeat #whosNext #GraciasHermano
  • New team can only mean one thing for my dude @alexcolome37 ..... NEW HEAT. 
One of three pairs, you’re going to want to stay tuned to see what I’m stocking his locker with this weekend. 
#SolesBySir #1of1 #customCleats #AlexColome #Seattle #Mariners #NewTeam #Customs #NikeBaseball #colome #37 #48 #BringingTheHeat #Blessed #WestCoast
  • A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure to make display pieces for @antoniocromartie31 ‘s Retirement party for his familiy’s show @cromartiesusa .

We went with 6 helmets and matching cleats that highlighted his career stats with each team (5) and a Probowl pair to highlight his 3 years making the prestigious game. 
Big thank you to @iluvterricka for supporting my art and giving me this cool and different type of project. 
Tag your favorite @nyjets player and fam who you tho k should have their own.

#SolesBySir #1of1 #customCleats #CustomHelmet #AntonioCromartie #TheCromarties #Retirement #NFL #NotJustCleats #Helmets #Cro #31 #NY #Jets
  • Today was Picture day. 
Have to rock some heat for your video/photo day, right @rodmcleod4 ? 
Can’t wait to show you this year’s line up, and all the new members of the fam. 
#SolesBySir #1of1 #customCleats #Philadelphia #Eagles #RodneyMcleod #23 #Zebra #ItsAJungleOutThere #GameCleats #PhotoDay #WorldChamps

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