Procter & Gamble pulls out of cancer initiative due to NFL off-field issues

Crest will no longer work with the NFL on breast cancer initiative.
Crest will no longer work with the NFL on a breast cancer initiative. (USATSI)

Updated on 9/19 at 2:30 p.m. ET: The NFL on Friday responded to Procter & Gamble's decision to remove itself from the initiative, explaining that the campaign will still proceed as planned without the sponsor's involvement.

"We are looking forward to our sixth year of the Crucial Catch campaign, in partnership with the American Cancer Society. We understand the ways the last week have impacted our partners, including Crest. Players will still have the option to wear pink gear, including mouthguards, as planned, this year," the league said in a statement.

Procter & Gamble has pulled out of a major initiative with the NFL in light of recent off-field events, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

‎Procter & Gamble, on behalf of its Crest toothpaste brand, had worked with NFL approval to launch a significant, league-wide initiative for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which it decided to cancel today after taking into account recent domestic issues in the league, sources said.

The campaign was to involve multiple players on each of the NFL's 32 teams with one player from each team designated as official "ambassadors" of the campaign. Players would have worn pink mouthguards and engaged in social media on a variety of platforms as part of the deal, but those players were recently informed the expansive program has been scrapped.

The company notified the players that money earmarked to be donated to cancer charities as part of the campaign would still be contributed, but the entire campaign has been pulled.

Earlier this week, Radisson Hotels suspended its sponsorship of the Vikings, and various other brands tied to the NFL have issued statements of concern about the numerous domestic violence issues facing the league and its players.

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Before joining CBS Sports, Jason La Canfora was the Washington Redskins beat writer for The Washington Post for six years and served as NFL Network's insider. The Baltimore native can be seen every Sunday... Full Bio

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