I Like Pink: The NFL's Effort To Raise Awareness Is a Plus

K. D. James@KDamanJCorrespondent IOctober 13, 2009

HOUSTON - OCTOBER 04:  A pink ribbon with the NFL logo in support of Breast Cancer Awareness on the goal post before a game between the Oakland Raiders and the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on October 4, 2009 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

I don't have an effeminate bone in my body, as I'd rather watch boxing than America's Next Top Model, a violent action movie to a chick flick any day. 

I don't shave my legs, go for manicures or pedicures, and it's hard for me to know whether a woman has extensions in her hair. 

I could not be able to distinguish a mini from a midi (audio file extensions?) or what the heck "tulle" is, either.

But as a man, there's one thing I like that might even stun my manly friends: pink.

I like pink, especially its cause in American society, used as a color on ribbons for breast cancer awareness. I unfortunately have lost a great-grandmother, an aunt, and a few other relatives to this form of cancer.

That is why whenever I hear someone like a Terrell Owens or someone in the workplace labeled as a "cancer," I cringe, knowing that that word has such a powerful connotation. Outside of the clinical world, as much an annoyance as that person is, to use cancer in a general sense has no place in my lexicon, seeing how it has affected my family and others' as well.

Which brings me to my point about pink and the National Football League: The most popular and richest sports institution in America is showing more of a (pink) heart than its macho, eight-star shield normally allows this October.

After coming down hard on players for elaborate, premeditated group celebrations; levying hefty fines for misplaced/wrongly coordinated socks or stockings; and banning those harmless yet silly-looking "do rags" a few years back, it's both shocking and auspicious that the NFL (October 4-27) has recognized Breast Cancer Awareness Month in such a flamboyant fashion.

Breast cancer is a serious matter, being possibly one of the highest causes of death in women every year (over 40,100, as reported by the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month web site), after heart disease.

And thanks to the urging of league executives and sensible model citizens/athletes like DeAngelo Williams, a running back for the Charlotte Panthers and son of a breast cancer survivor, the NFL decided to show its support: It listened and embellished an idea.

Up to six players per team can wear pink cleats; others, including coaches, could wear towels, wristbands, caps, and ribbons with some form of pink—which seemed to buck one of the league's most stringent of policies. 

The ubiquitous symbolism of pink witnessed in the league's campaign, called "A Crucial Catch: Annual Screening Saves Lives," is to encourage more women aged 40 and older to get yearly check-ups, mammograms, in order to detect breast cancer early.

In this current phenomenon, seeing the royal blues of the Dallas Cowboys blend in with pink is not much of a big deal. Even witnessing the bumblebee blacks and yellows of the Pittsburgh Steelers and San Francisco's reds and golds mixing up with the pinks is not as bad either.

Yes, pink even goes well with those god-awful, 1960s throwback unis the Denver Broncos wore last Sunday in their OT win over the Pats.

OK, no, I take that back. I don't even think the Hamburglar would claim those threads.

Most importantly, it is nice whenever the League has a big marketing project (what other sport can still get away with using Roman numerals to showcase its final game?) that makes the most bang for the buck, makes sense.

Some may not dig the Pink Revolution. But in honor of all those mothers, grandmothers, sisters, nieces, cousins, aunts and loved ones who have succumbed to this terrible disease, this grand effort of the NFL's is one of the very few that many should applaud and embrace.

And this macho pig can't wait for it again next year.