This past Sunday when I was watching my favorite NFL football team, the Minnesota Vikings, and noticing the pink caps, pink gloves, pink whistles, pink arm bands, pink towels, pink mouth guards, pink shoes, pink ribbons, pink this and pink that, I was trying to figure out exactly how I felt about all that pink being displayed on a football field on a sunny, October Sunday afternoon in Minneapolis. And btw, yes I do live in Wisconsin. And yes, I’m a Vikings fan rather than a Packer fan, which can be a bit “risky” here in Packer Land.
While watching the game and seeing all that pink, I knew I was supposed to feel supported. I was supposed to feel all warm and fuzzy. After all, this hugely visible organization called the NFL was turning everything pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, maybe even for little old me.
Why wouldn’t I feel good about that?
Why wouldn’t I feel all warm and fuzzy?
Basically, because as is so often the case during Pinktober, all this pinking feels overdone, a tad insincere, more about making money, exclusive (because even though it’s the NFL, I didn’t notice any mention of male breast cancer), hoggish (what about the other cancers?) and the list could go on and on…
It’s just another example of Pinktober “too muchness.”
Mostly what I felt when observing all that pink during the game was uncomfortable, maybe even a little embarrassed.
I sat there watching and thinking about all those other cancers out there that were not being represented.
Where are their NFL months?
Where are their NFL ribbons?
It’s not like NFL players and owners don’t have family members impacted by other cancers.
In fact, wouldn’t it be more logical to emphasize, draw attention to and promote awareness for a male-type cancer, say prostate for instance?
Guess not. Oh wait. There isn’t as much “opportunity” in those other cancers.
No wonder the pink ribbon is sometimes looked upon as the bully of ribbons.
Other articles have been written about how the NFL benefits from all this pinking. You can read one of them here. The NFL isn’t doing all this pinking just because the top officials have big hearts and care about women’s health. I’m not saying they don’t care, but there is way more to it than that. There’s big money involved. And public perception. Breast Cancer Awareness Month was chosen for a reason. After all, breast cancer is the popular disease bandwagon to most easily entice people to hop onto when an organization wants to bolster their image. Talk about bang for your buck, I mean pink ribbon.
I know some would say we breast cancer ‘survivors’ should stop whining. Breast cancer is lucky to get all this attention.
I would counter by saying, true enough. Breast cancer does indeed get lots of attention.
But maybe it hasn’t been getting the right kind.
How do you feel about the NFL’s “pinking” during BCAM?
Do you think the pink ribbon has turned into the “bully” of ribbbons?
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