Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Hunt For Pink October

I am one of the millions of Americans who has been touched directly by breast cancer. My sister Lynn is a 6-year survivor. My colleagues and friends Sheree, Robin, and many others are breast cancer survivors who fought and won long, painful, courageous battles.

Breast cancer doesn't need more "awareness".  Breast cancer needs a cure. And a cure takes money which funds research which will lead to a cure.

I'm working on a news story right now for the American Cancer Society (via Public News Service)  which will run on October 17th, a day designated as National Mammogram Day. I've been interviewing a young mother from Milwaukee who was diagnosed with breast cancer two months after her second son was born - while she was breast-feeding him. She is a phenomenally courageous woman and after I'm allowed to tell her story on the 17th, I'll put a link up here.

These are some of the reasons why this year, as the NFL wraps itself in pink in October and pretends to care about women's health issues, it's particularly disgusting to me, given the tone-deafness of the League's Commissioner and owners regarding their problem with domestic violence. 

The NFL, with eager complicity from the TV networks that broadcast the games, will this year again in October sell an ungodly amount of pink stuff under the guise of "Breast Cancer Awareness". By most reliable accounts the NFL will pocket three out of every four dollars worth of merchandise sold. It's a multi-million dollar scam.

The Packers will sell enough pink stuff to clothe half the population of the state in pink from top to bottom. So will every other NFL team.  And, if the most reliable figures are accurate, only about 31 dollars of the $125 you spend for that pink NFL jersey will go to "breast cancer awareness".

There'll be pink ribbons everywhere.  There'll be pink gloves, pink jerseys, pink cleats, pink ribbons carved in players' hair, pink, pink, pink.  The TV sports announcers will wear pink ribbons. Pink ribbons will be painted onto the field of play.

Even the comely young ladies who cheer on the NFL teams will get into the pink act. Pink, pink, pink.

You can spend your money any way you want. I'm not here to tell you how to run your life. I'm here for hypocrisy awareness.

Buy a pink jersey or pink gloves or pink shoes if you want. It's your money. But if you do, don't pretend you're helping to "raise awareness about breast cancer".

If you want to do something to help CURE breast cancer, donate to an organization like the American Cancer Society or the UW Carbone Cancer Center, where nearly all of your generous donation will go to fund things that directly help cancer victims: research, support, education, outreach programs, countless tangible things that actually help cancer victims and their families.

Thank you.