A Football Fan’s Perspective: NFL Breast Cancer Awareness

By Carina Scher

Disease is, unfortunately, inherent in this world. Serious illnesses, like cancer, don’t have cures and take millions of lives. During the month of October major health associations hold charity events to increase the awareness of breast cancer, and to raise funds for the research of its cause and cure. The National Football League and NFL Players Association support this disease’s awareness with their annual breast cancer screening initiative and fundraising campaign called “A Crucial Catch: Annual Screening Saves Lives”.

While collaborating with the American Cancer Society over $3 million has been raised for the cause. The majority of donations come from pink items at retail stores and on NFL Auction. Throughout October, NFL breast cancer awareness games will feature :


  • Game balls with pink ribbon decals used for every down, and pink kicking tee
  • Pink equipment for players including: cleats, wristbands, gloves, sideline caps,  helmet decals, captains’ patches, chin straps, shoe laces, skull caps, sideline towels, eye shield decals, and quarterback towels
  • Pink coins used for the coin toss
  • Pink sideline caps and ribbon pins for coaches, sideline personnel, and team executives
  • Pink caps, wristbands, whistles, and pins for game officials
  • On-field pink ribbon stencils and A Crucial Catch wall banners
  • Pink goal post padding in the end zones
  • Breast Cancer awareness pom-poms, shirts, and wristbands for cheerleaders

Game used merchandise will be autographed by players and sold at NFL’s official auction after games. The proceeds all go to the organization, and there is no profit for the League itself.

Each team supports breast cancer awareness in their own way as well. The New England Patriots honor survivors by allowing them onto the field with cheerleaders during player introductions. In addition, this year, the Patriots and Pro Hall of Famer Andre Tippett will present the American Cancer Society’s CHANGE program with $50,000. The New York Giants invite breast cancer survivors from Hackensack University Medical Center to assist in unfurling a pink ribbon flag on the 50 yard line during the pregame ceremony. They are also accepting donations for bumper stickers and rally towels at the stadium parking lot. This money will go to local breast cancer organizations.

The National Football League takes the time to promote, recognize, and support the cause. We challenge you to help spread breast cancer awareness, and come next game day, join us in the fight!