Hats off to the NFL for helping to support National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
If you didn’t tune in to a football game this first weekend in October, then you missed NFL players wearing pink or pink-tinged items to help bring attention to breast cancer. C and R’s local paper talked about some of the San Francisco players hesitant to wear pink items (shoes, gloves, hats) until one of the players said he had someone in his family dealing with breast cancer. The shoes several of the SF players wore will be auctioned to benefit cancer-related charities.
Monday Night Football featured a dream match-up of Future Hall of Fame Quarterback Brett Favre, now playing for the Minnesota Vikings, facing his old team of 16 years, the Green Bay Packers. Favre wore pink shoes and the announcers showed shots of his wife, Deanna Favre, a breast cancer survivor.
Even the referees got into the act, wearing pink and donating a portion of their salaries to breast cancer charities in October. Their donations will total $24,000.
Many teams will extend the national platform with local efforts. Teams will designate home games in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and plan special in-stadium or pregame events with local organizations.
This from the NFL’s official website:
The National Football League will support October's National Breast Cancer Awareness Month with team community outreach. Games from Oct. 5-27 will be designated as NFL Breast Cancer Awareness games. The NFL and its players will support October's National Breast Cancer Awareness Month with its largest on-field presence and a national screening-reminder campaign. In collaboration with the American Cancer Society, the initiative, called "A Crucial Catch: Annual Screening Saves Lives," encourages annual mammograms for women over 40.
Game-worn pink merchandise and balls will be autographed post-game and auctioned off, with proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Society and team charities. Special pink merchandise will be available at NFLShop.com and in stadium retail stores, with a portion of proceeds going to breast cancer charities.
We also found this quote on the NFL site, or should we say NFL Shop:
The NFL Shop is proud to support the fight against Breast Cancer. The NFL’s campaign, "A Crucial Catch", in partnership with the American Cancer Society, is focused on the importance of annual screenings, especially for women who are over the age of 40. Throughout October, NFL games will feature players, coaches and referees wearing pink game apparel to raise awareness for the campaign.
Now, everybody take a deep breath…We really believe this is a good thing. We are sure having professional male athletes that get a lot of television exposure wear pink, breast cancer’s symbolic color, brought a lot of exposure and attention to the disease, and possibly some donations.
We also see words like “portion of the proceeds”. This worries us. When we first started our parent site, Women’s Sports Information, we found this eye-opening site website: Think Before you Pink. It is a project of Breast Cancer Action, and was launched in 2002 in response to the growing concern about the overwhelming number of pink ribbon products and promotions on the market. The campaign calls for more transparency and accountability by companies that take part in breast cancer fundraising, and encourages consumers to ask critical questions about pink ribbon promotions.
We especially like these five critical questions to ask before you buy “Pink”.
1. How much money from your purchase actually goes toward breast cancer? Is the amount clearly stated on the package?
2. What is the maximum amount that will be donated?
3. How are the funds being raised?
4. To what breast cancer organization does the money go, and what types of programs does it support?
5. What is the company doing to assure that its products are not actually contributing to the breast cancer epidemic?
At the time, a few years ago, the website pointed out a “pink” perfume that only give 50 cents of it’s $30 price to breast cancer research. It also shamefully pointed out a car company, I won’t embarrass the manufacturer by giving the name, that gave about a dollar of the purchase price to breast cancer research, and had set a cap in the low ten of thousands. They were buying their goodwill, and cheaply, too.
The Think Before You Pink site recommends giving directly to the charity or research entity yourself. You money will go further than buying the “pink” products. We like that advice and do give money annually to breast cancer.
So, yes, we applaud the NFL and the players that wear the pink gear. We also look at the products for sale skeptically. We instead focus on the message of awareness (1 in 8 women will get breast cancer) and the national screening-reminder campaign, which encourages annual mammograms for women over 40.