The wearing of pink clothing during the Breast Cancer Awareness month of October is slowly taking root in various sectors around the country. Ordinary people from all walks of life—men, women, youth and children; professional players and minor leagues; athletes and sports hobbyists—many have donned on pink wear to signify their support for breast cancer awareness. |
During the first weekend of October 2013, in Portland, Oregon, middle school student Reilly Zinda wore pink football socks to show support for his mother who has just been declared breast cancer-free for a few weeks. However, his coach said he could not play the game as his team has to wear the agreed uniform of white socks.
It was only after one of the players offered his extra white socks that Zinda was allowed to play. Michelle Zinda, Reilly’s mother, expressed her sentiments about her son’s choice and the coach’s decision: “Somebody you know is fighting a battle and I think it’s important that everybody works together and shows support for one another. I think that we are teaching our kids the wrong lesson by teaching them uniformity.”
The Commissioner for the Portland Youth Football League clarified that although the league has some basic rules about uniforms, the specific color choices are up to the individual football associations to decide. He also said that most associations allow the wearing of pink in the month of October as a way to show support for breast cancer awareness.
Numerous calls were made to the coach but were not returned. The assistant coach said the players had already been informed about the uniform policy two weeks before the month of October and that they have all agreed to wear the prescribed uniform which includes white socks.
The assistant coach argued that the school district has a high percentage of students who were on free or reduced lunch and so most of them just cannot afford to buy a pair of pink football socks which are usually priced at around $15.
After the news broke, a businessman who owns a local heating business offered to help by buying pink football socks for the entire youth football team to wear. Andy Reilly—and his teammates—can now sport pink football socks together and show unified support for Andy’s mom and for all other breast cancer victims.
A part of the profits from the sale of pink sportswear traditionally goes towards funding breast cancer research and in the early diagnosis and treatment services for breast cancer patients.
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