Pink in the NFL: Awareness For Breast Cancer Or Themselves?


This past October, NFL players dressed in pink to raise awareness for Breast Cancer.  Does this actually do any good…?

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month has been around since 1985.  For the NFL, it’s been about eight years since they started having players deviate from their uniforms and dress up in pink.  But that’s great …right?  Men wearing pink.  Right?  Ignoring that pink-is-for-girls stigma!  Bringing awareness to an awful disease that takes away so many lives!  This is all for a good cause …right?  I’ll admit, I used to think this was cool.  Not so much anymore.

Thinking about it, I’m well aware that Breast Cancer exists.  I have a cousin who suffered through it.  I have several friends who have, too.  Even before then, I’d heard stories, and I’d been educated.  I think, at this point, most Americans are.  Do we really need these guys, and the cheerleaders on the sidelines, promoting pink once a year?

Columnist S.E. Smith put it best: Breast cancer has become a product, not just a disease.  Do they really care about the women (and men) suffering?  Or do they care about more profit?  Will all the women watch the games now that the NFL “supports” Breast Cancer Research?

It’s not like the NFL is the only big and bloated company that’s done this, too.  Susan B. Koeman of all things has been criticized again and again for teaming up with unhealthy food companies, and perfume companies that use toxic chemicals.  These companies sell their products to supposedly help fund cancer research.  They make a profit, and give SOME of the profit towards Breast Cancer Research.

So, is the NFL raising awareness for Breast Cancer …or themselves?

Supposedly, the NFL has raised nearly $15 million since 2009.  A lot of that comes from their pink jerseys, hats, and other merchandise they sell throughout the month.  According to the Wall Street Journal, if you do the math, that’s about $2 million every year.  Keep in mind that the NFL is also supposedly a company that makes $12 billion per year.  That money certainly isn’t going to any noble cause.

Interestingly enough, last year, players were fined for wearing Breast Cancer Awareness garb in the month of October.  People who watch NFL probably know about their strict dress code, but running back DeAngelo Williams was fined over $5,000 for wearing eye black that said “Find the Cure”.  Again, he was wearing this in the month of October last year.  On top of this, he was denied permission to continue wearing pink throughout the season to honor his mother, who he lost to breast cancer.  If the NFL cares so much, why won’t they allow players to show awareness all year if they so choose?

Maybe because this isn’t actually about really raising awareness.  Maybe it’s because it’s all a show.


Senior Writer

My name is Mariah, and I am a vast lover of people and arts. While my heart belongs to writing, I also love graphic design, taking video footage and editing videos. I have always wanted to be an author -- ever since I could hold a pencil. And now I'm working towards that. Photo of Myself Taken by

  • Mary C.

    The NFL loves to support women when it comes to breast cancer but not when it comes to domestic violence.