It’s been four years since the NFL launched it’s “A Crucial Catch” campaign, better known as the “Pink” campaign. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the NFL works to bring awareness- and donations- to the American Cancer Society. And while there has been some controversy recently about how much cash the NFL may or may not be giving to the ACS, it’s just as important to take a closer look into what the campaign has achieved, and why it’s important to everyone- survivors and their loved ones in particular.
The most obvious part of the pink campaign is the color pink showing up on the field, by way of shoes, flags, wristbands and goal posts. Nike, Under Armour and other manufacturers have joined in, creating all kinds of gear- for the players, coaches and fans- in pink.
Some of the less well-known aspects of the program are donations made by, and through, the NFL to the Cancer Society, breast cancer “tool kits” that can be ordered by schools or organizations to help people anywhere get each other educated, and a variety of walks, parades and other activities that help raise support and awareness for the cause.
Financially, the NFL has come under some recent fire for not donating enough; numbers like “5% of proceeds” have some people up in arms about how much money is actually going to the ACS. The NFL defends its donations from both sales of pink NFL items as well as auctioned pink gear that has been worn/used in actualy games, as well as the money it spends on other activities and promotions.
While the financial issue is an important one and needs to be addressed, for survivors, patients and their loved ones, it’s not all about the dollar. Seeing teams of big, burly football players sporting pink wristbands, socks and shoes, can give survivors a sense that people are aware of them, do care about them, and want to help support them. Every survivor and patient wants to know that there are people behind her, and for the NFL, and its players and coaches, to take on a topic that used to be “just for girls,” super-feminine, and never-talked-about and turn it into an accepted and positive cause that everyone should get behind, is huge. It was a big deal in 2009, and it’s still a big deal.
So, here’s a big thank you to the NFL, and to Nike, Riddell, Gatorade, Nike, EA Sports, Pepsi, Under Armour, Tide, Wilson, Ticketmaster and the NFL Players Union- and of course, the American Cancer Society- for not being afraid of coming together to back this campaign. Everything that’s done makes a difference, and survivors and their loved ones are the first to take notice.