Since October 5, the NFL has been participating in “Breast Cancer Awareness Month” along with other professional sports by “promoting breast cancer awareness messages…with pre-game and in-stadium initiatives, including ‘Pins That Touch Hearts.’ Coaches and game staff personnel wear pink ribbon/NFL shield pins on the sidelines during games throughout the month of October,” according to NFL.com. If you ask me, the whole thing is bull.
Please, do not get me wrong. I firmly support “Breast Cancer Awareness” campaigns; I have run numerous times in the Race for the Cure, raised money and personally donated to the Susan G. Komen foundation. But seriously, how does NFL players using pink shoes, pink chin straps, pink towels and pink gloves really help breast cancer? Were we any less “aware” of breast cancer when the cheerleaders didn’t wear pink outfits while bouncing on the sidelines? It’s just as bad as selling a product by associating it with the color pink. It’s called cancer profiteering, people! Case and point: Mike’s Hard Pink Lemonade. Sure, it’s “about more than just a new flavor,” according to mikeshard.com. The product is supposedly in honor of an employee who “lost a long battle with the disease,” and will help to contribute to breast cancer education and research. But does it say anywhere on the product that alcohol has actually been proven to be a leading cause of breast cancer? This hypocritical approach to selling a product is, quite frankly, appalling. Check out this article for more on the subject.
But, back to my point: the NFL pink overload. All I’m saying is that we know breast cancer exists; what is putting a pink ribbon on a football going to do to help the cause? If we’re supposed to be increasing “awareness,” why doesn’t NFL mention in their broadcasts or on the jumbo screens the risk factors for breast cancer or symptoms to look out for? We’re not going to cure the disease with slogans or more money in the pockets of the NFL.
What’s more, clearly breast cancer is not the only illness that kills people, yet it seems to get the most national attention by a long shot. Heart disease, for example, kills more people annually in the United States than all forms of cancer combined. And there are plenty of other worthy causes out there that are worth standing up against, such as sexual harassment and child abuse. There’s no question that breast cancer is serious, but an entire month devoted to pink football memorabilia being broadcast on Monday Night Football is nothing more than an abusive advertising campaign.