Our long, pink national nightmare has finally come to an end. Beginning in October of 2017, the NFL will no longer mandate that their players wear pink for breast cancer awareness.
According to Jenny Vrentas of the MMQB.com, “The initiative will still be called “A Crucial Catch,” but teams now have a say in the cause they’ll champion for about 18 percent of their schedule. They can still choose breast cancer, or another detectable, screen able cancer such as prostate or colorectal cancer—or one to which a player or coach has a personal tie.
“Teams can also support more than one cancer cause per season, and they can change their choice(s) from one season to the next. Similar to the “My Cause, My Cleats” campaign that debuted this year, in which players wore customized cleats to share a message for one game, it’s a break from the homogeneity of NFL campaigns in the past.”
This move makes sense on multiple levels. Dozens of different types of cancers exist, and the NFL’s monolithic focus for an entire month always seemed odd. Giving players a chance to address different forms of cancer, especially those who might have personal connections to those diseases, makes all the sense in the world.
Also, to point out the politics of this, the NFL used breast cancer awareness at least in part to gain favor with women, which obviously rings hollow when reflecting on the NFL’s handling of the Ray Rice and Josh Brown domestic violence incidents.
And last, but certainly not least, who wants to see a 325 lb. linemen wearing pink? No one is “pro breast cancer,” it would just be nice to watch anti nausea-inducing uniforms for an entire month.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter: @themightygwinn