Cleat Geeks

53 Dedications to his Mother

Williamsand hisMotherDeAngelo Williams lost his mother to breast cancer last year. All four of her sisters died from the disease, too.

For weeks 4-8 in the NFL any player can wear pink items to show their support for Brest Cancer awareness month. But, DeAngelo Williams petitioned the NFL if he could wear pink for the entire rest of the season to honor his mother with his uniform.

The NFL told him no.

That would of course be a violation of the league’s 31 page outline on equipment rules and would carry a $5,787 fine for a first offense. He is making $870,000 this year with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

williamsCancer“It’s not just about October for me; it’s not just a month, it’s a lifestyle,”Williams told ESPN’s Lisa Salters. “It’s about getting women to recognize to get tested.” Taking matters into his own hands, Williams is paying for 53 mammograms (his mother, Sandra Hill, died at age 53) for women in North Carolina.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month The NFL’s “A Crucial Catch” effort to encourage annual screenings is no different, as the league donates 100 percent of the proceeds from its pink merchandise and auctions off game-worn pink items in an effort to raise awareness for a deadly disease. All of the NFL’s licensing proceeds are donated, and that those donations go to awareness rather than actual research.

“Breast cancer, whether I like it or not, is part of my family’s story. That’s why I am so passionate about raising awareness, because I have seen firsthand how it can impact others. One time, a lady came up to me and said she was going to get examined just because she saw me wearing pink cleats during a game. I walked away thinking, Wow, pink is really so much more than just a color. It’s a lifesaver. It’s awareness. If we reach one, we reach millions. If we reach millions, we’re doing our job and getting closer to finding a cure.” Williams said with a smile.Seattle Seahawks v Carolina Panthers

I totally understand why the NFL told Williams no. If they make an exception for him for this, no matter how much of a worth wild cause it is, then where will the exceptions stop. Next, you will have a player whose parent dies of something else and he will want to wear something in honor of them, and another and another. And soon you will see 2 teams on the field and it will look like there are 20 teams on the field because everyone will be wearing a different color uniform. But, I do think the league could compromise on allowing players to wear am arm or a sweat band or shoes or something such as.

I also want to give tons of credit to Williams. Even though he was told no by the league, he did not bad mouth the league. He found another way to both honor his mother, and raise awareness. Personally, I will never be a Steelers fan (I am a huge Bengals fan) but I am now a DeAngelo Williams fan.

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