The month of October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and many professional sports leagues in the US do their part to help raise awareness for the cause.
The NFL is currently promoting their campaign called “A Crucial Catch,” partnered with the American Cancer Society. Throughout October, players, coaches and referees will be sporting pink apparel, and pink ribbons will be painted on the field. Special game balls and coins will be used for each game, then auctioned off to raise money for the American Cancer society and team charities.
Major League Soccer will raise money and awareness for breast cancer, like many other professional sports leagues in the United States. The “Soccer Kicks Cancer” program was put together by MLS W.O.R.K.S., Major League Soccer’s “community outreach initiative dedicated to addressing important social issues affecting young people.” The program runs throughout the season, but features a different cancer to fight each month.
According to MLS.com, MLS executive vice president JoAnn Neale said, “Through Soccer Kicks Cancer, MLS is committed to raise awareness and funds for important research and treatment for cancers affecting men, women, and children. In September our focus was pediatric cancer.“
The awareness program will be collaborated with MLS partners adidas and Gatorade. Gatorade will provide pink sideline towels and pink adidas Jabulani balls (pictured above) will be used in games throughout this month. Players will wear pink apparel as well, including sweatbands, shoelaces and goalie gloves. Both players and referees will don pink, commemorative MLS W.O.R.K.S. patches on their shirts.
The league will auction off game-worn, autographed jerseys and game balls to help raise funds towards the fight against breast cancer. Individual MLS clubs will also raise money during games with in-stadium auctions, and by donating a portion of ticket sales.
The NHL will be continuing its “Hockey Fights Cancer” program this season, which started in 1998 and raises awareness of many types of cancer. Each team will feature a Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night throughout October at one of their home games. These games will feature on-ice presentations, 50/50 raffles, promotional giveaways, contests and discount ticket offers. Suites and game tickets will also be donated to local children’s hospitals and cancer-affiliated programs, and young patients will be able to participate in unique opportunities, such as riding the ice resurfacer, puck-drops, and meeting players.
Of note, Major League Baseball raised awareness for breast cancer earlier this year on Mother’s Day.