Exonerated Texas Athlete Greg Kelley Is the New Face of Hari Mari’s Fall Boot Collection

Hari Mari, a Dallas-based footwear brand known for its social innovation, was inspired by Kelley's story of perseverance and resilience, and wanted to amplify that message with its latest campaign.

Dallas-based footwear brand Hari Mari is bringing on a big (and recently trending) name to introduce its latest seasonal collection: Greg Kelley.

You might recognize Kelley as the face of popular documentary mini-series “Outcry,” which ran this summer on Showtime. Directed by Pat Kondelis, the doc follows Kelley, a Texas high school football star who was arrested and convicted in 2014 for the sexual assault of a child.

But the story truly unfolds in November 2019—because it was then that Kelley was exonerated and fully pardoned by the state after seven years of combined prison and bond time.

Kelley’s wrongful conviction caught the attention of Hari Mari, a brand known for its social innovation. As part of its Flops Fighting Cancer initiative, Hari Mari donates one percent of all sales to support those battling pediatric cancer and help pay for treatment, research, and medical costs.

According to the footwear brand, it was inspired by Kelley’s perseverance, resilience, and character throughout his entire challenge-ridden journey within the Justice System of Cedar Park, Texas. Hari Mari wanted to show its support for a fellow Texan to “amplify his message of positivity, truth, and redemption.”

That’s why Kelley will represent Hari Mari’s Fall 2020 collection, which features new twists on traditional Hari Mari styles, much like Kelley’s own unpredictable story.

“Greg’s story is one of hope and inspiration,” Lila Stewart, who co-founded Hari Mari with her husband, Jeremy, said in a statement. “One in which good prevails but horrific all at the same time. He and his wife, Gaebri, deserve so many blessings after what they’ve been through and given Greg’s character and strength, it’s an honor to have him be the face of Hari Mari’s New Boot Collection.”

Lila and Jeremy Stewart are the founders of Hari Mari. [Photo: Courtesy Hari Mari]

Kelley’s personal nightmare dates back to 2014, when he received a 25-year prison sentence for the sexual assault. But over the next few years, Kelley held firm to his innocence.

With a staunch group of supporters behind him, Kelley began to fight to clear his name and one day return to his dream of playing collegiate football. Justice came in 2017, when Kelley’s conviction was overturned and he was released from Williamson County Jail.

Today, he’s married and living in Ypsilanti, Michigan, with a full scholarship to attend Eastern Michigan University and play football.

“Over the years, freedom was something that hung in the balance for me,” Kelley said in a statement. “I’ve come to learn when you are dealt a bad hand in a specific season of your life… freedom [is] the most important thing. It’s all I cared about when all else was stripped away. Being free is the ability to explore areas that maybe you’ve never thought you’d be but also explore a dream that is just a life chapter away.”

[Photo: Courtesy Hari Mari]

Hari Mari is best known for infusing color and comfort into its distinctive footwear lines. In the Fall collection, shoppers can find the Waxed CanyonTrek Chukka and Adobe Desert Boots, along with new colors in the premium full-grain leather Dos Santos LX Retro Runner line.

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