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Is Wearing Pink in Sports a Good Way to Fund Breast Cancer Research?

Rodrigo Mejia

It's becoming a common sight on the field: pink bats, pink gloves, pink cleats, pink headbands, even pink quarterback hand muffs. But what's breast cancer research's actual cut of the pink merchandise pie? Business Insider broke down sales data from the NFL's Breast Cancer Awareness initiative and found that "only 8.01 percent of money spent on pink NFL merchandise is actually going towards cancer research."
Of course, raising awareness has untold benefits, but is the research chunk too small?

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  • Molly Lindquist

    I echo all of these comments. If you ask those of us who have gone through breast cancer surgeries and treatments, most of us dread Pinktober. Love the "Think Before You Pink" initiative. People need to ask questions before they buy pink ribbon products - what does this really support? Does it align with my philanthropic priorities. For me, supporting medical research is so important as I hope that my daughters won't have to walk the same breast cancer journey that I have. Much of the reason that I started stemmed from the desire of patients like me to have a more transparent, directed and connected way to support medical research. I'm so glad we are having these conversations!

    • Alessandra Rizzotti

      Great insight Molly. I think people often don't consider what foundations they're supporting in terms of how effective they actually are. Do you know of any cancer foundations we should be wary of?

  • Stef McDonald

    I'm all for efforts to encourage women to take control of their health (self-exams, doc visits) and funding that's dedicated to research for a cure and helping those with the disease. But all that money spent making pink wristbands, socks, shoes, hats etc. is just too much. Worse: cosmetic companies slapping a pink ribbon on products that contain carcinogens (really). There's also a great "Beyond the Pink" campaign from the Breast Cancer Fund

  • Jessica Rivera

    This is really interesting. Have you head of the documentary "Pink Ribbons" - it shows how breast cancer has become the poster child of corporate cause-related marketing campaigns. Pretty disappointing facts when you take a closer look at the movement. Check out the trailer here:

    • Rodrigo Mejia

      This is an amazing quote from the trailer:

      "I wish they could hear from all the women who have been through breast cancer and resent the effort to make it pretty and feminine and normal. It's not normal. It's horrible. It has to be stopped."

      Thanks for the link. There was an a very telling, amazing piece done by Lea Goldman for Marie Claire, 'The Big Business of Breast Cancer.' If you a have a little time, give it a read.