NFL tells DeAngelo Williams he can’t wear pink all year

AP

For the NFL, putting pink on players’ uniforms is part of outreach to women during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams, it’s more personal than that.

Williams lost his mother to breast cancer, and he says he contacted NFL vice president of football operations Troy Vincent to seek permission to keep wearing pink on his uniform after October ends. But Vincent said pink is only to be worn in October, and there are no exceptions.

He told me no. I’m assuming they are telling everybody else no as well,” Williams told ESPN.

Williams, who wears his hair long enough that it hangs out from his helmet, says he has researched the NFL’s rules and can find no rules about hair color. So he plans to keep the pink he’s been wearing in his hair.

“The hair, it’s part of the uniform from the standpoint of being tackled, but it’s not specific on what color it has to be or if it has to match the uniform,” he said.

Williams isn’t only supporting breast cancer awareness with his hair. He’s also supporting breast cancer awareness with his money: Williams made a donation to fund mammograms for 53 women, in memory of his mother, who died at the age of 53.

93 responses to “NFL tells DeAngelo Williams he can’t wear pink all year

  1. The NFL is so stupid. Didn’t Peyton get fined for wearing black cleats after Unitas does? And Brandon Marshall for wearing a different color glove or shoe to bring awareness to mental illness? And now you can’t wear pink to honor your dead mother and support a cause the NFL is trying to appear to support? But really, just use this deadly illness as a publicity stunt and to increase profitability? Shameful. Believe it or not NFL, some things are bigger than the NFL and making the owners more mowing.

  2. If I’m a ball carrier, I’m wearing my hair short. Good for DeAngelo on his support for breast cancer research and awareness.

  3. Why can’t there be a little personal liberty (an outdated word, I know) attached to things like this? If one guy wants to wear pink the whole season and another guy on the same team never wants to wear a shred of it for even one game, what’s wrong with either approach?

    Mandating that pro football teams – who in every other respect function as free enterprise operations in the truest sense of the word – adopt certain social causes for mandated periods of time has never set well with me at all.

  4. I saw a stat that only 8% of Breast Cancer Awareness money raised by the NFL actually goes to fighting breast cancer. The rest is taken by the NFL in royalties, etc. Good thing they have given up their tax exempt status going forward so they don’t have to disclose their financial statements. When you would rather pay taxes than disclose your financial statements, that speaks volumes.

  5. This is nothing. Goodell is forcing Twitter to shut off bloggers that don’t kiss Heir Roger’s ring. Barstool, DeadSpin, SB Nation were all iced because Roger is so thin skinned

  6. It’s funny how they keep talking about how many lives early detection and mammograms save. The newest research is showing that mammograms not only show no difference in mortality rates between women who do get them and who don’t, but they are showing the mammogram itself can actually cause harm to these women and over diagnose breast cancer in up to 1/3 of the cases

  7. I’m sorry about DeAngelo’s mom but seriously… all this pink is annoying. I get the cause, I really do. But at this point who ISN’T aware of breast cancer? And it looks hideous on TV. About as bad as the Ravens uniforms.

  8. I know it’s the cool thing right now to hate on the NFL, but the NFL does more for breast cancer than probably any other sport. Let’s be thankful for that, and understand there are uniform rules that must be followed – no matter how silly we think they are.

  9. He should be able to wear them all year.

    That said, this pink thing has gotten insane. I mean come on, the Bose headphones coaches use have pink on them? We get it.

  10. flaccosmoustache says:
    Oct 13, 2015 5:34 PM

    Unless the NFL can personally profit off of it, they don’t care.

    ————————————————-

    Unfortunately very true. They use the cause as a way to generate money by selling all of the pink merch, but give a small percentage to the charity. Horrible

  11. Roger Goodell found out that he doesn’t make any money if he lets the players wear pink over 30 days, so in the name of “integrity”, he has to say no to Williams.

    THAT is who your commissioner is. That is the man without character who is leading YOUR league….and he will be until you do something to get him out. You know he won’t be back in New England, but he could show up anytime in your home town to parade his wealth and power off to you. Make sure he knows how welcome he is.

  12. And there you have it. I’ve said it for the past few years now, the whole “month-o-pink” is nothing more than a PR move to try gaining more female fans/sponsors (and probably a few tax write-offs along the way). They could easily give DeAngelo a 1yr+ exemption to wear all the pink he wants to TRULY support the cause/awareness since he just lost his mother to this terrible disease that the NFL “claims it so dearly cares about,” but that wouldn’t fit with the actual goals of this initiative…

  13. Breast cancer, Johnny Unitas shoes, mental health gloves, the list can go on and on, where will it end? I know, it ends Oct 31, thanks Troy.

  14. I’m good with the pink. I’m good with it being only October. I’m good with this decision. 90% of you would complain if the NFL said they were going to give you free season tickets (oh sure, but I have to buy my own beer!). And 100% of you will tune in every weekend. If you want to get a set, then turn off your tv.

  15. Pretty soon the NFL is going to crack down on the long hair. I can see it coming. It’s getting ugly out there on the field.

  16. “The Ferguson police department has a better PR department then these fools.”
    –couldn’t have said it better myself. for what it’s worth, after 21 consecutive years, I cancelled NFL Sunday Ticket, and gave up my 4 KC season tickets I’ve had since 1999. It’s not much, but it’s $3500 I won’t be giving to Goodell anymore.

  17. I have no issue with the league saying no. Agreeing to it opens the door for every player to promote whatever cause is dear to them for a whole year. Causes that fans won’t agree with. I’ve lost two grandmothers, two aunts a grandfather and a uncle to cancer so I do sympathize with Williams. Of course the NFL is exploiting this. They shuffle out survivors and make a big deal of it, increase revenue and support, but the fact is that they do it. The MLB playoffs are in full swing and you barely get a mention of it, so I applaud pro-football for it. Myself, I would like them to make it Cancer Awareness Month, because folks are affected by many types of this disease, but if this is what they choose, I won’t criticize because they’re doing more than I am.

  18. I know it’s a business…. However it’s still a game that gets played for the sake of playing a game everywhere …. These clowns running the show need to ease up on quite a few things … I’m all for not letting things get out of hand but wow really

  19. According to the NFL suits: breast cancer is bad, but only 1 month out of the year. The other 11 months, LOL we don’t care.

    A player actually wants to do something that he believes in, that will not effect the game in any negative way, and they deny him. Shameful.

  20. People are plenty aware of breast cancer. What plenty of people are not aware of is how much of that donated money goes to help. Hint, it’s barely any of it. If he really wants to help and honor his mother, he should just donate money directly to a facility that studies it.

  21. First, the NFL should not be involved in breast cancer awareness. It is done by state and local health departments. Moreover, the woman’s primary care provider. Do you really think women are watching football and all of the sudden they say to male counterpart “why are the players wearing pink?” Then he states, “they are wearing pink to make women are of breast cancer.” She then states “hmm… what is breast cancer and what can I do about it?” Come on, there are more important things than athletes wearing pink. Also, we should spend more time with young NFL players respecting the rules, not just in football but in life.

    Ask yourself, why is the NFL not supporting prostate cancer awareness? 1 out of 6 men will develop prostate cancer. 1 out of 9 women develop breast cancer. There are far more cases of prostate cancer than breast cancer. The answer is simple. The NFL is trying to get more viewers from the female population. To get woman to go out and buy pink jerseys at 90.00 a pop. They are not making anyone aware of anything.

    In support of prostate cancer I propose that all football players where a pink logo of a finger on their rear-end.

  22. The easiest way to eliminate gray areas is by making rules black and white. If the NFL allowed players to do what Williams is asking, then others will want to support their families, friends, causes, and so on. Players making political statements would happen as well. The league would have to answer questions to players about why they allowed player X to wear something, but player Y cannot wear what he wants.

    Honestly, it could get out of hand quickly and I think it’s best to just make the uniforms uniform. After all, they are uniforms…

  23. Well that’s a curious choice. I’m all for breast cancer research and awareness, but paying for someone’s screening mammogram seems POINTLESS because they are covered at 100% by insurance anyway per federal regulations and everyone is supposed to have insurance. It’s a nice gesture but really it’s just a gift to the insurance companies.

    Better off using that money to get the word out that mammograms 1. Save lives and 2. Are no cost to you.

  24. Not to defend the NFL or anything but if they make an exception here then one player will want to wear this for his deceased brother and deceased sister-in-law and on and on and on

  25. Of course it’s a serious issue that once again the NFL screws up royally. It does so on a regular basis. That won’t change as long as Goodell is commissioner. Fire Goodell and the owners will find that the fans will develop some respect for them again.
    For now, keep the hair pink.

  26. Don’t understand why the Hot Pink is allowed longer than one week. You can still pander to woman by using the little ribbon on the field and in other places. This is not the LFL. I get hit up at every store and by friend doing 5ks and stuff all month long and I’m always happy to donate. Don’t need my gridiron warriors wearing hot pink socks and gloves. Not sure why some of you do.

  27. Good for the NFL. Obviously a great cause that has gotten as much attention as any cause could ever ask/hope for. Rules is rules. Don’t bite the hand that feeds.

  28. The only way the NFL greedy owners will listen is if you simply say NO. Say NO to buying game tickets. Say NO to watching Thursday Night Football. Say NO to watching Sunday football. Say NO to watching MNF. Say NO to watching NFL Europe. Say NO to tax-payer funded stadiums. STOP buying all the crap they’re putting out in the stores. Money talks. BS walks.

    Then and ONLY then will things change.

  29. I understand the league bashing for the way they’ve handled things lately, but this is piling on for no reason. The problem here is the slippery slope. This guy wants to promote breast cancer. The next guy wants to promote prostate cancer, then the next guy wants to promote mental health, the next guy AIDS, the next guy wants to support the troops…

    Everybody wearing different colors to promote their personal beliefs/agendas/charities and soon it’ll look like a game between the Washington Rainbow Warriors vs. the Seattle Skittles. It’s great that they want to help a cause but when they’re on the field they represent their team and their team only. Wear your teams colors and concentrate on the game and do the best job you can do to help your team/city. Uniforms should remain UNIFORM and you can use your celebrity/money/influence to help your cause every minute you’re off the field. NFL is doing nothing wrong here.

  30. Once a month is enough of the pink that clashes with the uniforms.
    Besides, he is a celeb. and can get the word out there in other ways that will get just as much, if not more, attention than on the field.

  31. DW seems like a good dude, and I support cancer research. If I showed up tomorrow to my normal job wearing a bright pink suit, that wouldn’t go over too well. I’d look like a clown, which is why it’s probably against some sort of corporate dress code. I don’t have to like it, but if I want to stay there I have to adhere. Of course, it’s also probably against our policy to lay-out a coworker with a blind side tackle, so it’s probably apples and oranges.

  32. @pillowporkers….I heard the same thing in a Bay Area radio show last week (FM). That only %8 of the October proceeds go to breast cancer, and out of that %8, NOTHING goes to research and treatment. It all goes to ‘awareness’

  33. “We know we’ve had a bad reputation when it comes to women’s issues, so we’re dedicating thirty days to Breast Cancer awareness.”

    Can one player do more than that?

    “Not while he’s on the clock.”

  34. Why not testicular cancer awareness month? That’s far more relevant to young men’s sports and needs far more taboo-busting & profile-raising…oh, no money to be made in extra merchandise from attracting female fans (of which most money raised goes to the NFL, not cancer). Wait, what about raising CTE awareness? Oh, never mind….

  35. The NFL Breast Cancer campaign and Susan G Koman are both giant scams. Susan G Komen, just like the NFL puts the majority of money towards “raising awareness” which is simply a code word for advertizing.

  36. The NFL is so stupid. Didn’t Peyton get fined for wearing black cleats after Unitas does?

    _____________________

    Actually Manning never wore those black shoes for Johnny U.

    He was going to.. but like normal he choked at the last minute.

  37. This is of course no surprise, but that doesn’t make it right. I understand the argument that allowing this would open a door for other players to want some kind of personalization of their uniforms…and so what?

    I say this – allow guys two areas of choice: color of cleats and color of gloves. It matters NOT ONE BIT. Allowing Williams to pay tribute to his mother all season would’ve been a very nice PR move, but also the kind of thing a decent human being would allow. So, then some guy on another team wants to wear white cleats to pay tribute to his dead dog…allow it. Who cares? It’s an example of the NFL being arbitrary and immobile on an issue for no reason other than to exert their authority.

  38. As someone who has lost family members to breast cancer, I think it’s very important that people, women especially are constantly reminded. Some people might think it’s overboard every October, but I do not believe this is the case.

    It is a cold reality, that if we’re not constantly reminded about something in this day and age we tend to forget about it as our minds are constantly on to the next thing. I see nothing wrong with with DeAngelo Williams wanting to wear pink all year long. He lost his Mother, the very woman who gave him life, and is literally part of who he is.

    Those who disagree with Williams, how would you feel if it was your Mother? Sister? Daughter? Friend? Wife? Put yourself in those shoes one time and all of a sudden, a player wearing pink for an entire season doesn’t sound like such a bad idea.

    In fact, I think the NFL should even go the route the NHL has. They haven an entire month dedicated to Cancer in general. Hockey fights Cancer, in which coaches and others wear purple or purple ribbons in support of research and treatment of all cancers, and getting screened, especially if their is a family history.

    The last time I checked, Cancer isn’t just a women’s issue or a men’s issue. It’s an everybody issue.

  39. How can the NFL tell DW what color his hair should be? It’s not like his entire head is pink anyway. NFL is more worried about how players look on the field instead of whether the game is actually negatively affected by mistakes and stupidity, like incorrect running of the game clock, forgetting the rules, etc. This story makes me infuriated about the mentality and priorities of league management.

  40. But the league allows drug addicts, alcoholics, murderers, and people convicted of assault to play. But the NFL can make money off of them, and in the case of Williams the NFL won’t make money off Williams doing this so it’s a no go.

  41. Let’s remember that the pink is a make good for the Jets acting like 10 year olds around a hottie form Mexico.

    If you cave to D’Angelo then you have to allow every player to wear his own tribute to whatever “cause” they decide to support. The NFL has enough clowns in the front office, we don’t need them dressing the part on the field. Just imagine if Marshawn Lynch could wear whatever he wanted each game. Every week would become a fashion show. We’d have Deion judging player apparel.

    People die, it’s a fact that adults need to deal with personally and athletes deal with professionally. Have a tribute, a church service, build a memorial park but let’s keep it off the field. What I can’t believe is that some would categorize this as “fun” by claiming this is the “No Fun League. There’s nothing fun about cancer.

  42. A shame. It seems the NFL uses pink for good publicity, and uniform consistency trumps any message about breast cancer. If players wear pink all year, it dilutes the publicity drawn in October. And if colors (with meanings) are allowed to be incorporated by players at will… who knows, guys could be wearing rainbows! All hell could break loose.

    Silly NFL and their oppressive micromanagement.

  43. But it’s perfectly acceptable for Sneaky & Sleazy (Kraft & Jones) to bankroll DraftKings.

    Naaaahhh… there’s no conflict of interest there at all. Not a bit. Move along now…

  44. patsbrat says:
    Oct 13, 2015 7:49 PM

    The NFL has become a paradox.

    We all love the game. Most of us despise the league.

    ————

    You’ve really summed it up well. Unfortunately, I don’t think anything is going to change until/unless their wallets start taking a hit.

    Regardless…..this Patriots fan fully supports DeAngelo, and his pink hair

  45. competitivecompetitioncompeter says:
    Oct 13, 2015 8:50 PM

    Well that’s a curious choice. I’m all for breast cancer research and awareness, but paying for someone’s screening mammogram seems POINTLESS because they are covered at 100% by insurance anyway per federal regulations and everyone is supposed to have insurance. It’s a nice gesture but really it’s just a gift to the insurance companies.

    Better off using that money to get the word out that mammograms 1. Save lives and 2. Are no cost to you

    ———-

    that might work in theory but I tend to think reality is a little different. while a portion of one’s tax return accounts for “everyone is supposed to have insurance”…..not everyone is required to file a tax return. I tend to think these people fall off the radar. If they don’t have income to report, they probably go unnoticed, they likely can’t afford insurance either, and therefore they likely also don’t get regular health care (and emergency care is not regular health care).

  46. DrinkingTheDeliciousTearsOfTheHaters says:
    Oct 13, 2015 5:59 PM
    Well, at least Troy and Roger will never have to worry about brain cancer.

    Neither guy has one.

    Yes but Rog could get breast cancer, guys got a decent rack. Small a’s, but supple nonetheless.

  47. That’s right NFL – allow dumb dances after making a tackle 10 yards downfield but don’t allow a guy to support a noble cause.

  48. bassplucker says:
    Oct 13, 2015 5:27 PM
    Why can’t there be a little personal liberty (an outdated word, I know) attached to things like this? If one guy wants to wear pink the whole season and another guy on the same team never wants to wear a shred of it for even one game, what’s wrong with either approach?

    Mandating that pro football teams – who in every other respect function as free enterprise operations in the truest sense of the word – adopt certain social causes for mandated periods of time has never set well with me at all.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Well, the are called “uniforms” for a reason. The NFL wants players to be uniform in appearance on the field so that they can market teams rather than rely completely on individual superstars like the NBA.

    It seems ridiculous to disallow him stretching the entire year something that they do for a month, but that same logic would have to extend to players wearing camo year round, as well. It would also open the NFL to being forced to allow other player causes to be openly promoted, eventually leading to players streaking down the field advertising their own clothing lines.

  49. Sure, you can wear pink. And your fullback can wear blue, and your receiver can wear yellow and on and on and on……

    It’s called a UNI-form, people! It’s not just a suggestion.

    Now pull up those socks and get off my lawn!

  50. Glad to see some players finally waking up to this stuff. Now some players have reduced wearing the pink crap or not using it at all. I could see ONE week but not a month, total bullcrap.

  51. I know this will be an unpopular post, but I think it is worth sharing. Love the NFL product and like everyone else think the league and Goodell are ridiculous. With that said, they are obviously afraid of the slippery slope allowing ANY exceptions can create. Great cause, great sentiment, etc, but if the NFL allows it they then get into the business of policing what is a legit cause. BMarsh wants to wear something for mental illness, great cause again. What if a player wants to wear something to show support for being a Christian? Is that ok? If that is allowed, what about a Muslim player, can he wear something to show support? What about wearing something for animal rights? What about wearing something for genocide in Africa? How big of a display can be worn? Gloves? Shoes? Socks? Helmets? Where does it stop?

    Do you look on the field and every player on a team looks different? Obviously that can’t happen.

    It’s easy to bag on Goodell, we all do it, and rightly so. However, the league contributes hundreds of millions of dollars to breast cancer and many other causes. I just don’t think you can start allowing exceptions.

  52. NO OFFENSE TO HIM, BUT ENOUGH OF THE PINK CRAP. WHEN DO MEN GET RECOGNIZED? NOTHING ABOUT PROSTATE CANCER ETC..FUNNY HOW THERE IS A MOTHERS DAY SET ASIDE, BUT NOTHING FOR THE DADS.

  53. rcali says:
    Oct 13, 2015 9:28 PM

    Don’t understand why the Hot Pink is allowed longer than one week. You can still pander to woman by using the little ribbon on the field and in other places. This is not the LFL. I get hit up at every store and by friend doing 5ks and stuff all month long and I’m always happy to donate. Don’t need my gridiron warriors wearing hot pink socks and gloves. Not sure why some of you do.
    ———

    people choose to be part of the solution in different ways. just because it’s not your way, doesn’t mean anyone has to justify it

  54. and then maybe some other player can wear neon orange cleats because they had a friend who knew someone who had autism?

    where does it stop?? just because your mom died (very sad) doesn’t mean everyone else should honor every request

  55. leatherface2012 says:
    Oct 14, 2015 10:30 AM
    NO OFFENSE TO HIM, BUT ENOUGH OF THE PINK CRAP. WHEN DO MEN GET RECOGNIZED? NOTHING ABOUT PROSTATE CANCER ETC..FUNNY HOW THERE IS A MOTHERS DAY SET ASIDE, BUT NOTHING FOR THE DADS.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    June 19th. You owe your dad an apology.

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