Steelers think pink this week


Heinz Field will be awash in black and gold on Sunday when the Steelers take on the Baltimore Ravens, but another color will be prevalent on the field and in the stands – pink.

Sunday is the Steelers official NFL Breast Cancer Awareness game, and players will be showing their support by adding pink apparel, from gloves to cleats, to their uniforms.

"It shows support for survivors, people that didn't survive and people fighting it now," said Ben Roethlisberger, who will be using a pink quarterback towel. "It's a nasty disease that there still isn't enough done for."

The NFL began their "*A Crucial Catch" *campaign five years ago to support the American Cancer Society's breast cancer screening program and to raise awareness. 

"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."

Among the pink items that will be visible on Sunday are 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. Many of the items worn will be signed and auctioned off to raise money for breast cancer charities.

"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."

There will be other pink ribbon elements, including pink goal post padding, Gatorade towels on the sideline and pink ribbons on helmets. Fans will receive a pink Terrible Towel, sponsored by Ford and UPMC CancerCenters, and Ford, UPMC CancerCenters and Magee Women's Hospital of UPMC are presenting a $10,000 check to the Susan G. Komen Pittsburgh Foundation. Members of the ZTA Sorority will hand out awareness cards and pink ribbons on Art Rooney Avenue prior to the game. 

Breast cancer survivors who were already selected by UPMC CenterCenters, Magee Women's Hospital of UPMC and the American Cancer Society, will also be honored on the field before the game.

"It's definitely important to do all of this," said receiver Emmanuel Sanders. "Breast cancer is serious. Everything dealing with cancer is serious. I think it's awesome the National Football League acknowledges that and we support it."

The Steelers already held a "Cooking and Eating for a Healthy Life" class at Magee Women's Hospital of UPMC for breast cancer survivors, and on Monday, Oct. 21, Heath and Katie Miller will host Bid for Hope for the Glimmer of Hope Foundation.

"We try to raise awareness and support a cause that is way bigger than us," said defensive end Ziggy Hood. "I have heard stories from women getting checked, some of them now survivors, because of us wearing pink and raising awareness. If we can save a life then we are doing our jobs." 

The team is also selling Steelers pink ribbon apparel and jewelry to benefit breast cancer research, including pink Terrible Towels. All items can be ordered through the Steelers Online Store or in Steelers Sideline Stores.

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