Two Steelers bit by the NFL’s cancer hypocrisy


Two Pittsburgh Steelers are the latest victims of the NFL’s insanely hypocritical uniform rules. Maybe they have legitimate reasons for enforcing these things the way they do, but I see no rhyme or reason at all in it.

As you may have noticed, the league is currently in the middle of its annual Breast Cancer awareness campaign, where players and team uniforms are altered to include the color pink.

Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams knows better than anybody how important the issue is. Three of Williams’ aunts as well as his mother have been taken by the disease. Williams wanted to pay tribute to them the entire season by wearing pink the rest of the year but according to Field Yates at ESPN, the NFL denied his request:

Instead Williams has decided to keep his dreadlocks dyed pink for the remainder of the season, because apparently the league office has yet to find a way to outlaw that.

If that’s not infuriating enough for you, get a load of this.

Defensive end Cameron Heyward also knows the sting of losing a loved one to cancer. His father Craig “Iron Head” Heyward played in the league for ten years and was diagnosed with malignant bone cancer in 1998. Eventually he passed away in May of 2006.

During Monday night’s game against the San Diego Chargers, Heyward wrote a special tribute on his eye black, reading “Iron” and “Head.” Here’s a close-up photo that Heyward shared on his Twitter account:

Touching, right?

Not touching enough for the NFL to ignore its rule forbidding “personal messages” on eye black. According to a report by Christopher Chavez at Sports Illustrated, the league fined Heyward:

“Players are permitted to use eye-black to reduce glare from sunlight or bright stadium lights, but the NFL’s uniform policy against “personal messages” is a $5,787 fine for a first time offender. Heyward’s fine was not disclosed.”

It’s not hard to see why so many people are critical of the NFL’s “awareness” campaigns. At the end of the day, the image they are protecting is much more important than the actual message.

For the richest and most powerful organization in professional sports, this was a pair of real bush-league moves.

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