NFL Helps American Cancer Society Fight Breast Cancer

close up of football player's hand holding a football with a pink ribbon NFL logo

Professional football and the color pink go together during October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Each October, the National Football League joins the American Cancer Society to raise awareness about the importance of regular breast exams and to raise money to help fight breast cancer.

Since 2009, the American Cancer Society has partnered with the NFL, its franchise clubs, players, and the NFL Players Association on "A Crucial Catch," a breast cancer awareness initiative that conveys an important public health message promoting early detection and the importance of breast cancer screening, and addresses the unequal burden of cancer in underserved communities, while raising funds for the American Cancer Society. A Crucial Catch Day will be held across the country on Tuesday, October 25 this year.

Throughout October, NFL players, coaches and referees will wear pink on the field to remind everyone about the importance for women to get mammograms to find breast cancer early, when it’s easier to treat. Hats, wristbands and other apparel worn at NFL games, and special footballs and pink coins will be auctioned off and proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society. Fans attending games are encouraged to wear pink. Specially licensed pink merchandise is also sold at NFLShop.com, and at select retail stores nationwide.

To date the NFL’s work has raised nearly $15 million for American Cancer Society programs including the Community Health Advocates implementing National Grants for Empowerment and Equity (CHANGE) program. The CHANGE Grant program provides education and access to breast cancer screening resources to women who are uninsured or under-insured and don’t have access to screening. In just 4 years, CHANGE grants funded by the NFL have provided more than 120,000 breast cancer screenings at low or no cost. Other programs provide breast cancer patients and other cancer patients who call for help with free services including a place to stay while traveling for treatment, rides to treatment, and referrals to local support groups.

Help women stay healthy

Through A Crucial Catch, the NFL and American Cancer Society remind women to stay healthy and help lower risk for breast cancer by eating right and getting regular exercise.

You can help other women get screened, and help support the work of the American Cancer Society by tagging your friends and family on Facebook and by making a donation.

Join the team

A Crucial Catch invites youth and high school teams to take part by hosting their own breast cancer awareness games, in which players and coaches wear school-provided special pink uniforms, wristbands, shoelaces, etc., and help raise funds in support of the American Cancer Society’s fight against breast cancer.

Through A Crucial Catch, football clubs and fans can register teams to participate in the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. This noncompetitive event raises millions of dollars every year to fund breast cancer research and provide information, services, and access to mammograms for women who need them.

Additionally, the Society’s advocacy affiliate, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), is participating in A Crucial Catch by encouraging Congress to increase funding for the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP). This program offers free early detection tests for breast and cervical cancer to uninsured low income women.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team
Our team is made up of doctors and master’s-prepared nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.


American Cancer Society news stories are copyrighted material and are not intended to be used as press releases. For reprint requests, please see our Content Usage Policy.