It's that time of a year again when the NFL pretends to care about women and women's issues by bombarding us with the color pink. It's not that I have an issue with the color pink. I like it well enough. I draw the line when it's used to make con consumers into purchasing the NFL's pink merchandise for a "good cause". You can purchase $80 hoodies, $35 t-shirts, $26 hats, and 464 other items, according to The NFL Shop. Sounds like a great way to support the American Cancer Society, right? You get a hoodie and the American Cancer Society gets some much needed funding for cancer research. Win, win, right? Not so much.
I've done some research into how much of the proceeds from the NFL auctions and Breast Cancer Awareness campaign products actually make it's way to those actually trying to find a cure for cancer. The unfortunate answer is almost none. According to Business Insider, it's only about 8.01%. Less than 10%, people. TEN PERCENT. For every $100 in "pink" merchandise sold, $12.50 of that goes to the NFL for royalties. 90 percent of that ($11.25) goes to the American Cancer Society (ACS). The rest is divided up between the company that makes the products and the company that sells the products. Shockingly enough, in many cases, it's the NFL and the individual NFL teams.
According to Vice Sports, the NFL claim that 100% of the proceeds from their auction and from retail sales go to the Breast Cancer Awareness and the American Cancer Society translates into roughly $1.1 million per year. From a devil's advocate standpoint, this is a lot of money. But consider this.... that $1.1 million is only .01% of the approximate $10 billion the NFL made in revenue last year. If the NFL is trying to make women believe they care about us or women's issues in general, they are failing miserably.
The fact that there's so little money actually going toward cancer research is the worst thing about this campaign, but the fact that it is so patronizing is also very bothersome to me. I'm female, so of course I should want everything in pink, right? Hats, jerseys, pompoms. The list goes on and on. Just because I'm a woman it doesn't mean I'm any different from a man when it comes to being a fan. I have never owned a pink jersey or shirt or hat. When I bought my daughter her first Vikings jersey, it was purple, not pink. Because that's the color our team wears. You'd think the NFL would get a clue with the continually growing number of women in their fan base.
Call me crazy (and many of you have), but if you really want to make women feel you care about them as fans, maybe stop allowing guys like Grey Hardy to serve a 4 game suspension (when honestly, he should have been banned forever) only to return to the NFL making "guns blazing" comments. If you live under a rock, you might not know that Hardy was CONVICTED of assaulting and threatening to kill his then girlfriend. One of the instances involved him throwing her onto a futon covered in assault rifles. The NFL not only didn't do anything about Hardy's comments, they actually put them on their official website. Baffling. How the hell does the NFL expect women to think they respect us at all? If you haven't seen this Katie Nolan "Garbage Time" video, do yourself a huge favor and watch it. Ms. Nolan is a Fox Sports 1 reporter and I'm a huge fan of her work. She tells it like it is and doesn't hold back any punches. The NFL should hire her to consult for them. They may actually be able to retain their female audience. But then, again, the NFL shows no real desire to respect their female fans.