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Another view of "pink gear"

October 21, 2013 - Burt Angeli
The NFL’s commitment throughout October to spreading breast cancer awareness and generating donations for research is impressive, writes Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. But the amount of dollars actually being donated for cancer research from sales of the NFL’s pink gear is more than a little disappointing.

According to figures obtained by ESPN’s Darren Rovell, only 11.25 percent of revenue generated by the pink merchandise goes to the American Cancer Society. Approximately 50 percent goes to the company that sells the merchandise (often the NFL and its teams), 37.5 percent goes to the manufacturer, and the other 1.25 percent goes to the NFL.

The publication Business Insider also points out that since the ACS uses almost 30 percent of donations for administrative fees, only 8.01 percent of money spent on pink merchandise is actually going toward cancer research. The NFL also told Business Insider that it donated approximately $3 million to the ACS over the first three years of the pink merchandise program, and that any money that is not donated to the ACS is used to cover costs of “A Crucial Catch,” the league’s breast cancer awareness program.

We applaud the league’s determination to spread breast cancer awareness, but it’s certainly disappointing that more money isn’t being used for research (although the manufacturer is equally responsible).

And perhaps it is time to turn October into an Awareness Month of the diseases and afflictions of the players’ choosing, such as how Bears receiver Brandon Marshall wore green cleats last week in honor of Mental Health AwarenessWeek (and drew a $10,500 fine from the league for improper equipment).

His heart is in the right place.

— Ben Volin, Boston Globe



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