By Tim Baffoe-
(CBS) This is your weekly reminder that the National Football League doesn’t care about you. And it doesn’t care if you care that it doesn’t care about you.READ MORE: Local Vaccination Sites Begin Administering Pfizer Vaccine To Kids Ages 12 To 15 Thursday; Some Sites Extend Hours
Many of us aren’t really concerned with what commissioner Roger Goodell and Co. think of us or how gullible we might be. Give us football to fight our seasonal affective disorder, and keep any major criminal or immoral behavior made public to a minimum. Hell, there hasn’t been much public pushback regarding Goodell wanting an 18-game regular season, player well-being be damned. More football is always favorable to us. Case in point: showing us how we needed pro football games every Thursday, but we just didn’t know it. Thank you for looking out for us, NFL.
And this past Thursday night kicked off the league’s annual make-believe telethon for the ta-tas as the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings donned various league-approved pink things to raise awareness for breast cancer. It’s a feel-good month-long campaign — this year Mad Menly-dubbed “A Crucial Catch” — disguised as being for the ladies when, looking on paper, not so much.
So stop condoning this traveling Sunday revival meeting. Stop blindly tossing into the collection plate. Stop throwing money at a lie.
The league profits from pink merchandise sales, especially during the “charitable” Breast Cancer Awareness month. This is fact. Because the NFL cares about women and women with breast cancer as far as they can make the league money. The NFL needs breast cancer. The NFL profits from breast cancer. In a brass tacks, 12-page annotated spreadsheet on a boardroom overhead projector sort of way, the NFL is probably in favor of breast cancer.
So cut out the pimp whoring of a charity. Donate directly to one. Have 100 percent of your donation go to The American Cancer Society that otherwise gets the 8 percent of money given to NFL pink stuff. Or The Breast Cancer Charities of America. Or several others. A pink Tom Brady shirsey doesn’t exactly smack of the selflessness charity is supposed to involve, does it?READ MORE: Dive-In Prayer Service For End Of Ramadan Being Held At Aurora's Fox Valley Mall
More so it says, “I wanted a piece of clothing, and the gravy of it is I can tell myself I helped somebody.” You really didn’t, though, whether it’s a person with breast cancer or a sweatshop worker in Cambodia or a San Salvadorian who was paid 0.0013 percent of the price of that shirsey to make it.
It also would be saying you are a symbol of the NFL caring about women insofar as they spend money and have primary influence over their sons playing football and replenishing the cattle stock. Which is to say the NFL doesn’t actually care about women as people. If it did, maybe there would have been at least some quickly-slapped-together, half-assed attempt at combining the pink campaign with something having to do with domestic violence. The league doesn’t really have a breast cancer problem, but beating women and kids is sort of at the forefront of its PR nightmare right now. October also happens to be Domestic Violence Awareness month, but hell if the NFL is going to pretend to be part of the fight to stop that.
I don’t mean to pit one societal affliction against another or say one cause is superior to others — cancer is the worst and should continually strived to be eradicated. Ditto lupus, diabetes, mental illness, poverty and underfunded schools. Fight what you can when you can as best you can.
But one woman out of every eight will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. One of four will experience domestic abuse. Zero out of every NFL player will likely suffer from breast cancer. More NFL players tend to be domestic abusers than the rest of the populace. Yet we are quick to rally around breast cancer almost reflexively while ignoring violence toward women and children much more so.
And, actually, it’s likely that if a player donned some extra purple gear (the adopted color of domestic violence awareness) in October, he would be fined. See, the NFL really cares about charity, so long as it’s a marketing-department-and-uniform-Gestapo-approved charity. Fighting the fight with pink sweatpants with a logo on the butt? That’s cool. Fighting against pink swollen eyes? Nah. Because, ya know, helping people and stuff.
So maybe begin to consider more that the NFL doesn’t care about you, about other women, about your ability to intelligently discern charity from profit. Stop giving in to pink. Start caring.MORE NEWS: Homeowners In Unincorporated Subdivision Fear Scheme Is Afoot For Elk Grove Village To Take Their Property; Lawmakers Deny It
Tim Baffoe is a columnist for CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @TimBaffoe.