NFL goes pink

I got this letter from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Not sure what gave him the idea that I’m a football fan, but I won’t fault him too much since he’s trying to do a good thing. Maybe he didn’t get the memo that my heart belongs to the Red Sox (my broken heart, that is). Maybe he did get the memo that I have a big mouth and write a little blog about all things breast cancer. Or maybe it was just a mass mailing that coincidentally landed in my mailbox just as I’m sorting through conflicting feelings about the pinkwashing that occurs every October.

Despite my previous grumpiness about all things pink in the month of October, I must admit I rather like seeing the football players wearing a dash of pink. Not because I think it’s going to change the world or find a cure for this damned disease, but because I enjoy the incongruity of a gigantic linebacker who could crush someone like me between his fingers wearing pink.

I could be super cheesy and say that if one woman decides to go for a mammogram because she saw Tom Brady wearing hot pink gloves, and if that one woman discovers breast cancer that would have otherwise stealthily grown into something that would kill her, then the NFL campaign is a success.

I will say that I’m glad the NFL campaign is about taking specific action to protect yourself from this dreaded disease, instead of trying to use the pink ribbon to sell a product. That sits much better with me. Nothing like a pink-ribbon-bedecked can of dog food to say let’s wipe out breast cancer.

On to Mr Goodell’s letter:

To NFL Fans:

On behalf of the National Football League, please join us in supporting the NFL’s “A Crucial Catch” campaign in October for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This is the third season in which NFL teams, coaches, officials and players will wear pink in recognition of the fight against breast cancer.

Just about everyone knows someone who has been affected by breast cancer. That is why the NFL is proud to join thousands of others committed to fighting this terrible disease.

Throughout October, all NFL teams will celebrate survivors, visit patients at hospitals and turn their stadiums pink to show our enduring support. Alongside our partners at the American Cancer Society, we will emphasize the importance of prevention by encouraging all women over the age of 40 to get a yearly mammogram. We know that annual screenings can, and do, save lives.

Thanks to the passion of NFL fans, we have the collective strength as a league to connect with millions of people and make a positive difference. Please support the American Cancer Society’s programs to help people stay well, get well, and find a cure. We can fight back against a disease that has taken far too much from too many for too long.

There are several ways you can participate in “A Crucial Catch.” Visit nfl.com/pink for the resources and tools you can use to get involved.

An annual screening saves lives. Let’s spread the word.

Sincerely,
Roger Goodell