Yesterday, while watching football, I made a snarky comment about an announcer’s flamboyant shirt-tie combination only to learn he was wearing the baby pink striped tie in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Really?
I was completely floored when I found out the entire NFL is very involved in raising awareness for a disease that rarely affects men. The league even has a campaign, “The Crucial Catch,” advocating annual screenings, especially for women over 40. Throughout October, players, coaches, and referees can choose to wear pink game apparel — from shoes and sweatbands to mouth guards and chin straps — which will be auctioned off, with the money going to the American Cancer Society and team charities. Plus, all players’ helmets have been outfitted with a pink ribbon decal, and fields have been painted with pink ribbon stencils.
Critics say the money spent to manufacture these pink products would have been better spent if it had been given directly to a breast cancer research organization. I disagree. Even if the NFL dreamed up the pink uniform accents as a PR stunt, it’s still getting men involved in a good cause. Every guy who watches an NFL game is subjected to numerous pink ribbons and mentions of Breast Cancer Awareness Month throughout the course of the game. Hopefully, their knowing about the disease will help them encourage the women in their life to get screened. Heck, they’ll probably jump at the chance to help check for abnormal lumps at home.