NFL Go Pink? Pass

Cancer awareness hits close to home for me. October is the biggest cancer awareness campaign of the year as we go pink for breast cancer awareness.

After my mom died, I was living in Dallas, the headquarters of Susan G. Komen, an organization for breast cancer research, outreach and advocacy, and decided to run the Susan G. Komen Dallas Race for the Cure. Not only did I run the fastest 5k time to date, more importantly I raised over $1,100 in my mom’s name. I’ll never forgot riding the train down to NorthPark with masses of people. That year there were over 30,000 people.  Watching all of the families and women in pink. It was touching, heart wrenching, and motivating all at once.


That was how I got my start with running and fundraising.


I like football, and when October comes, I like to see how “pink” teams go for cancer awareness.  It makes me happy to see them showing their awareness for cancer awareness. Pink gloves, pink shoes, pink towels.  Even the cheerleaders get in on the action. The more pink the team, the more they get my cheers–unless they’re playing against Notre Dame in which case, I’ll still never root for them.

This year, I noticed that the pink was fading and was getting pretty disappointed.  How could these teams just be so flaky and not participate? The nerve!

Cincinnati was the first team I noticed, but not the last.  Not a single bit of pink during the game.  Harumph! The nerve of those Bengals!

But that got me thinking. Does it even matter whether they wear pink? Does the pink campaign matter at all?

The NFL launched “A Crucial Catch” campaign in partnership with the American Cancer Society to raise awareness and importance of annual screenings for women over 40. On October 25, they’ll even be offering breast cancer education and low cost screening in NFL team cities.  All the pink you see on the fields is for their breast cancer awareness campaign awareness.

Sounds awesome right?  Well the only reason I know any of that is because I trolled and trolled around the NFL’s website to find that information. I’ve watched plenty of NFL football and I haven’t heard any of that.

Ok. So we know why they wear pink, and why they sell pink, let’s if it actually matters.

Here’s what each of the organization’s is doing in their city this month for breast cancer awareness month. (Spoiler alert: read the full list if you want to be amused by how underwhelming some most of the events are).

I was interested to find out exactly how much of the proceeds from all that pink football gear was actually going to breast cancer awareness/research/etc. The answer? You guessed it. CRAP. That’s how much.

I read this article and was not surprised to find out that it was a disappointing amount.  According to the NFL’s website, since 2009 only $7 (SEVEN) million has been donated to American Cancer Society from the sale of all the stuff.  The NFL website says that they don’t get any percentage of the profits, but I have to challenge that statement. I find it hard to believe that all of that stuff leaves them with such a low profit margin to be donated.  Of allllllllll those sweatshirts, and t-shirts, and caps, and stuffstuffstuff, only $1 million a year TOTAL goes to American Cancer Society.  That’s embarrassing.

I’m still all about wearing pink in support of breast cancer awareness month.  I’m glad that the teams do it, it’s about raising awareness. I totally get that and I’m good with that. Just don’t buy the NFL’s stuff–or anyone’s stuff just because it’s pink. Give your money directly to the American Cancer Society, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, MD Anderson Cancer Hospital, or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

  • Be Proactive. Don’t be afraid to go to the doctor.
  • Schedule yearly women’s exams.
  • Take charge of your health.
  • Put your money where it counts. Not at Target buying a pink spatula.

Anyway, I’ll pass on NFL’s “A Crucial Catch.”


2 thoughts on “NFL Go Pink? Pass

  1. I really get the impression that the NFL does the whole pink thing not actually for breast-cancer awareness, but for the ability to say “hey, we’re supporting a women’s cause,” which just puts the wrong taste in my mouth.

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