Three Cheers for Slashing Cancer Funding During NFL’s Pink-tober!

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If those are pink towels dangling from the waistbands, then it must be October, breast cancer awareness month for the National Football League. Wondering how YOUR Houston Texans celebrated awareness of this gruesome disease on October 8th? There were pink ribbons! And sorority girls! And cheerleaders! Dancing on the field with breast cancer survivors! Wearing pink! And eventually, a fractional percent of the proceeds from licensed pink NFL gear will make its way to the American Cancer Society. To raise awareness. In case you didn’t know about breast cancer.

A couple of days after pinking out, Bob McNair was called out in the New York Times as the head of one of the 158 families bankrolling the Republican presidential candidates in this election cycle.

So, what does the Texans’ pink-washing have to do with McNair’s personal donations?

The NFL’s parade of pink each October yields a donation of approximately $1.1 million a year to the American Cancer Society’s A Crucial Catch awareness campaign. Maybe the Texans gear sells better than other gear, but still, if you divide $1.1M by 32, the number of teams in the NFL, that means each team is responsible for a roughly $34,000 donation.

In contrast, this election cycle, the McNair Family has already donated $2 million to Republican super PACs and candidates.

That includes maxing out contributions to Senator Ted Cruz, who issued the following statement yesterday in the wake of news that Gov. Greg Abbott wants to cut off Medicaid funds for Planned Parenthood in Texas:

“Today, my home state of Texas proved that states can make a real difference in the fight to block taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood,” Sen. Cruz said. “I’m proud of Texas for leading the way in affirming the sanctity of life, and I thank Gov. Abbott for his principled commitment to protecting the lives of unborn children. I encourage every state to follow Texas’ lead in stopping taxpayer funds from going to Planned Parenthood, and I will continue to lead the fight in the United States Senate to defund Planned Parenthood at the federal level.

Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, one of several affiliates that the state is threatening to defund, provides thousands of people with cancer screening and treatment each year. That includes manual exams for breast cancer, cervical cancer screening, and treatment for pre-cancerous conditions and early-stage cervical cancer.

Bob McNair will graciously allow a percentage of royalties from pink Houston Texans™ merchandise to trickle down to a breast cancer awareness program as he funds politicians who will do everything in their power to make sure that once low-income women in Texas are aware that they should be seeking healthcare, they’ll have even fewer places to access that care.

If you needed one more reason to hate the pinkwashing and commodification of breast cancer awareness, there you have it. Happy Pink-tober!

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About Author

Andrea Greer

Andrea, an activist, fundraiser, feminist, writer, and baker, is not as tall as you think she is. She’s been at this a long time, and wants to know what you are doing to make the pie higher and raise more hell. Her mother would like you to know she’s got a law degree.

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