​NFL Cheerleaders Breast Cancer Awareness: Dressing Pink for Awareness

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October 8, 2013

The NFL cheerleaders are in full swing promoting Breast Cancer Awareness in October and that means everyone is thinking pink, from shoes to towels, but some things may have gone a little overboard with the referee’s flags going pink.

The flag may have caused some confusion with some of the player’s towels, which are also pink. Therefore, the league will bring back the traditional yellow hankies this week.

NFL spokesman Michael Signora said in an email to USA TODAY Sports on Monday the pink penalty flags used over the weekend as part of the league’s breast cancer awareness initiative won’t be used again in Week 6.

The league’s initial release on the initiative, which continues through Week 7, didn’t specify whether pink flags would stay for the duration. But the flags caused enough confusion on TV broadcasts, when coupled with players’ pink equipment, it made sense to go back to yellow.

The NFL’s effort also focuses specifically on “the importance of annual screenings” for the disease, “especially for women who are 40 and older,” as recommended by the American Cancer Society. But some researchers dispute the efficacy of yearly screenings for women at normal risk of breast cancer, which can lead to unnecessary and invasive treatments.

One recent study suggested that a mammogram every two years is the optimal schedule for women between the ages of 50 to 74.