The NFL will discontinue its Breast Cancer Awareness initiative after next season, reports TheMMQB.com's Jenny Vrentas. For the last eight years featured players wearing pink during the month of October.
Instead, the league will allow teams to choose their own causes to support in a campaign that will be called, "A Crucial Catch."
More from Vrentas:
[T]eams now have a say in the cause they'll champion for about 18 percent of their schedule. They can still choose breast cancer, or another detectable, screenable cancer such as prostate or colorectal cancer-or one to which a player or coach has a personal tie. Teams can also support more than one cancer cause per season, and they can change their choice(s) from one season to the next. Similar to the "My Cause, My Cleats" campaign that debuted this year, in which players wore customized cleats to share a message for one game, it's a break from the homogeneity of NFL campaigns in the past.
"It's a balancing act," Anna Isaacson, the NFL's VP of social responsibility, said. "We have seen a lot of success in having focused, strategic campaigns. Focusing on one cause, fundraising for it, bringing it to life, choosing a message, spreading word among our fans. We are committed to that. But we are also committed to making sure the voice of our clubs are heard and making sure the voice of our players is heard."
The NFL says it has raised in the neighborhood of $15 million for the American Cancer Society in the last eight years though, as Vrentas writes, there have been critics of the initiative, including those who consider it a PR stunt to gain more female fans. That said, Sharon Byers, the chief marketing and development officer for the ACS, calls the NFL "one of our strongest, if not our strongest, partner" when it comes to breast cancer awareness.