NFL players sport pink cleats for Breast Cancer Awareness month
The NFL and each team promotes some incredible fundraising during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is observed each October in the United States. Almost all of the franchises donate money to local hospitals and research groups, and many host events as wide-ranging as star-studded galas and meet-and-greets with players for survivors.
The league also encourages young football players and coaches to sport pink gear to raise awareness in their communities, whether it be their jerseys, gloves or helmets.
If you’d like to get in on some star athlete memorabilia, the league is also running an auction throughout the month featuring pink cleats and other gear worn by players across the country. The proceeds from the rosy items will be donated to the American Cancer Society’s Community Health Advocates National Grants for Empowerment program, which both educates women on the signs of breast cancer and offers mammograms to those in need.
Through the course of the NFL’s partnership with the cancer research nonprofit, the pair has raised more than $3 million, often from the sale of pink products at games and auctions.
No matter which team you support, everyone is in the fight against breast cancer together. You can find out about your team’s programs and efforts here, and be sure to check out the NFL Pink site for the auction and other information on the fight against this disease.
[Note: DeSean Jackson will wear several pairs of pink cleats during the month and all will be donated to auction off to the highest bidder with 100% of the proceeds going to Breast Cancer Awareness. He has also chosen to wear the signature “Critical Catch” knit hat to raise attention to Breast Cancer Awareness and donned this hat during the Steeler game, at Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA.]
DeSean Jackson sports pink cleats in observance of National Breast Cancer Awareness
(Getty Images)Philadelphia Eagles star receiver DeSean Jackson grew up in and around Compton, Calif., when that area was the rap capital of the world. Though he went a different way with what has been a highly productive football career, Jackson hasn’t forgotten his roots, and his background has left him with an intense desire to express himself with a rap career of his own.
“I just want people to understand and get to know the real DeSean,” Jackson recently told Yahoo! Sports. “That culture for hip-hop was huge, and I had a passion for it at an early age.”
Jackson’s been one of the NFL’s fastest receivers since the Eagles selected him in the second round of the 2008 NFL draft. He ran a 4.35 40-yard dash at the scouting combine, and he’s always been one of the league’s toughest players to catch in a straight-up race. Just as he has sought to move past those who wondered if he’d ever succeed at this level. Now, he’s moving just as quickly in the direction of a bigger life in music.
“People always doubted me, saying that I’d never go to Long Beach Poly [High] and make it,” Jackson said. “That I’d never go to Cal and make it. There’s something about me that keeps being excited to prove everybody wrong. It’s like the critics who say, ‘Why is he rapping?’ It’s cool; I’ll just keep proving them wrong.”
Jackson was known for his blinding speed, even as a kid — he used to chase the ice cream trucks for blocks and eventually catch it, and opposing coaches would ask Jackson’s coach to move him to different positions on youth football, because their players couldn’t keep up with him. Rap was just as important to him, as it is now.
“Through the music, I think [people] will get to know me and the struggles I went through in life. I can give it to them on the tracks, so people can understand the real me.”
Jackson writes much of his music on his smartphone, and then brings friends and collaborators in to finish things off. “We work great as a unit, and we motivate each other.”
“Sometimes we write separately,” Anthony Moore, one of Jackson’s collaborators, said. “Or, he’ll have a song he’s working on, and we’ll walk into the studio and vibe off of that. DeSean brings that on-field energy into the studio.”
Jackson’s place of prominence in the NFL has allowed him time with some of rap’s biggest names, and the most important one so far is the addition of noted producer L.T. Hutton to the project. Hutton, who’s worked with everyone from Snoop Dogg to Bone Thugs-N-Harmony to Nate Dogg and many more, will have Jackson’s upcoming album on his own Jaccpot label.
“Over the last five months, we’ve put together probably 120 tracks,” Jackson said. “I have a slim chance of making it in the music industry. It’s a risk, [and there are] no guarantees. But I’m a firm believer in having one life, and living that one life up.”
DeSean Jackson and his BFF, Nadin
[Not the best picture of DeSean but this one appeared in the AIM original article]
* * * * * * * *
Leila Steinberg, Founder and CEO, of Alternative Intervention Model (AIM, Inc.), a non-profit based in Long Beach, CA, is pleased to announce that NFL Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson has partnered with her organization and will head AIM’s Anti-Bullying and Anti-Violence Campaign. The AIM business model transforms lives of at-risk youth through the arts. Ms. Steinberg, a former mentor to Tupac Shakur, incorporates Tupac’s creativity, intellectual property, vision and life lessons as a core concept for addressing social unrest, teen violence; and, violence in our communities. Mr. Jackson is states that he is privileged and honored to partner with Ms. Steinberg and empower others while preserving the legacy of Tupac in impoverished communities with the same criteria that Tupac’s core concepts are taught in major ivy league universities throughout the nation. Furthermore, Jackson states that his association with Ms. Steinberg and AIM Inc. has helped him identify his own shortcomings in regards to sensitivity, diversity and tolerance; and, given him the requisite knowledge and tools to advocate for social change and make a difference in the lives of our youth and communities.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Ms. Steinberg and DeSean Jackson have also taken their campaign into the Department of Corrections in an effort to learn and listen to the inmate population to deter incidents of violence and increase the outcomes for success for the high-risk population that AIM serves.
You can learn more about Ms. Steinberg’s programs and services at: www.alternativeintervention.org.
Mr. Jackson reminds us that October is the month that we observe Anti-Bullying Prevention; but, Anti-Bullying and Anti-Violence, should be practiced 365 days a year in your homes, schools and the playgrounds; and, on the Internet. We must preach and practice embracing our diversity, sensitivity, tolerance and mutual respect for others.