Every October, the NFL temporarily suspends its obsession with the uniformity of the uniform and allows players to introduce so much of the color pink via socks and cleats and gloves and chinstraps and towels that it looks like someone spiked the laundry detergent with Pepto-Bismol.
It’s an unusual twist for a league that otherwise allows no invasion of the predetermined outfitting and no display of individuality or creativity of any kind. But there’s a good reason for it — and it could be making a real difference.
According to Parenting.com, a Staten Island woman noticed last year the pink accents while her husband was watching a Jets game. She asked about the presence of the color, he told her that the NFL is promoting breast cancer awareness.
“That night for the first time ever I gave myself a self breast exam,” the woman informed the Jets this week via email. “You guys saved my life! I am a 34 year old mother of 3 and I was diagnosed 2 weeks later with breast cancer. The outcome had I not seen that game and the players wearing pink would have more than likely been tragic because the cancer had already started to spread and was making its way toward my lymph nodes.”
We’ve confirmed the story via the Jets, and given the high profile of the NFL there likely are more examples of women using the presence of pink to get checked for the disease. If you’re aware of any other examples like this one, let us know.
Even though the NFL’s effort focuses on breast cancer only, we all should use the return of pink every October as an annual reminder to take care of the health issues that we may be avoiding or overlooking. Whether it’s that colonoscopy you’ve been delaying or the one-fingered necessary evil for men, be smart and get yourself taken care of.
Procrastination definitely won’t make the situation any better, and it could make it a lot worse.