Prostate cancer awareness advocates calling on NFL to give them equal time

In the wake of the NFL’s October pink-washing in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, prostate cancer awareness advocates are calling on the NFL to give their disease equal time.

The Prostate Cancer Foundation and its ally groups in the fight against prostate cancer are asking supporters to sign onto petitions requesting that the NFL highlight prostate cancer during the month of September, as they do breast cancer in October.

“We applaud the NFL for raising breast cancer awareness during the month of October by allowing players to wear pink accessories,” the petitions reads. “As prostate cancer is to men what breast cancer is to women (and some men), we ask the NFL to allow light blue items in September for Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. With your help we can raises awareness of prostate cancer, a disease that claims more than 32,000 men’s lives each year and impacts millions of families.”

According to Dan Zenka, vice president of communications for the Prostate Cancer Foundation, the online petitions have gathered nearly 1,800 signatures since last Thursday. The petitions will remain online until November 1, at which point the organization will present it to the NFL.

“Many of the stadiums are flooding their stadiums with pink lights, lets get some blue lights in there,” Zenka told The Daily Caller. “We deserve healthy fathers and sons, every bit as much as we need healthy mothers and daughters. It is a family issue.”

This year, it is estimated that there will be 217,730 new cases of prostate cancer diagnosed and that 32,050 men will die from the disease.

Pam Barrett, director of development for Us TOO International, a non-profit prostate cancer education and support network, told TheDC that the goal is to raise public awareness for the disease.

“I’m a breast cancer survivor myself. And I reaped all the benefits from all the awareness, fund-raising and research generated by pink ribbon efforts,” she said. “Those things are not there for prostate cancer and frankly, it’s been hard to figure out how to reach out and engage others to support the men. Few realize that more men are diagnosed with prostate cancer than women are with breast cancer. So, for the NFL to wear blue for prostate cancer would be excellent. It would greatly help direct public consciousness and consumer products and organizations who support breast cancer to also focus on the needs of men with prostate cancer.”

The online petitions can be found here.

E-mail Caroline May