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Community Spotlight: Steelers Think Pink



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It's not often players in the Steelers locker room like to sport a color other than black and gold on game day, but during October players are more than happy to mix a little bit of pink in with their uniforms as they support Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The NFL began their "*A Crucial Catch" *campaign six years ago to support the American Cancer Society's breast cancer screening program and to raise awareness. Part of that program is the NFL designating games for teams to wear pink gear, from gloves to cleats, and this Monday will be the Steelers official NFL Breast Cancer Awareness game when they host the Houston Texans at Heinz Field.

The NFL wears pink throughout the month of October to raise awareness and support those who are affected by breast cancer.

"It means a lot to wear it," said running back Le'Veon Bell, whose grandmother is a breast cancer survivor. "There are a lot of people going through the same thing as her. I know it's scary for her and all of us. The NFL is a big brand, and everyone watches it and the fact that we are wearing the pink means a lot. She appreciates it and she loves it when I wear the pink."

Among the pink items that will be visible during the game will be special game balls with pink ribbons, pink coins for the coin toss, pink apparel worn by players including cleats, wristbands, gloves, sideline caps, chin straps and quarterback towels. In addition coaches and sideline personnel will wear special hats and pink ribbon pins. Other pink ribbon elements include pink goal post padding, Gatorade towels and pink ribbons on helmets.

"It's remarkable how far we have come in terms of promoting breast cancer awareness," said Steelers President Art Rooney II. "A lot of our players throughout the years that have had people in their family with breast cancer, it's special for them to be a part of this. It's great for the league to be able to use its national platform to call attention to something that hopefully we are making progress on in terms of a cure and caring for people suffering with it. It's a great program and shows if everybody in the league works together you can make a difference in an important cause."

Fans will receive a pink Terrible Towel, sponsored by Ford and UPMC CancerCenters, and breast cancer survivors who were already selected by Magee Womens Hospital of UPMC and the American Cancer Society will also be honored on the field before the game.

"It's definitely special," said linebacker Arthur Moats. "I remember my first year when I came into the league and you see all of these big guys, super tough, and they have all of this pink on. You are like what the heck at first. Then you see what a great cause it is and I definitely support it."

The Steelers held a healthy cooking class at Magee Women's Hospital of UPMC for breast cancer survivors last week, with players helping to cook the healthy selections.

"There are not many people that haven't been touched by someone they know who has suffered through the disease," said Rooney. "In a relatively short amount of time we have been able to make a difference. Now you see it at different levels, high school and college football, wearing pink and it's become a national effort that everyone comes together and gets involved in."

Heath and Katie Miller will host Bid for Hope on Monday, Oct. 27 for the Glimmer of Hope Foundation's breast cancer research programs. Miller and some of his teammates will sign autographs for fans at the event, which helps to fund under-40 breast cancer research.

"It's surprising and crazy to think how many people you know who have been affected by breast cancer," said Miller. "Any way I can help out or we can help as a team, we are all for it. Our job is easy. We just show up and smile. The people behind the scenes do the hard work. They are out trying to raise money on a daily basis to make sure the money goes to something beneficial. They are the ones who deserve a lot of the credit for this."



]( if you are looking for your own pink gear to wear, you don't have to look far. The Steelers online store is selling pink gear all month, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting breast cancer charities.

In addition, Brett Keisel's Da Beard Gear has specially designed breast cancer awareness t-shirts available, with proceeds benefitting the Glimmer of Hope Foundation.

"We did it two years ago and were able to donate $5,000 to Glimmer of Hope," said Keisel. "It's pretty special what Da Beard gear crew and Steelers Nation can do if we come together. It will be fun to do it again and help them out.

"Because of the people I met who fought through breast cancer and kicked it's butt, they inspired us and it's a way to give back." 

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