The NFL could do more to fight breast cancer

Tampa Bay Buccaneers players wore pink as a part of breast cancer awareness on Sunday, October 14, 2012. The Buccaneers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs, 38-10, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Chris Zuppa/Tampa Bay Times/MCT)

In the National Football League, players and coaches dedicate the month of October to breast cancer awareness. They show their support for cancer victims and their families by wearing the color pink. The players wear pink gloves, cleats, hats and various other pieces of equipment, but what if they did something a little different?

I submit to you the following idea. What if NFL players, as well as other professional athletes, donated their entire salary for the month of October to researching for a cure or to help pay the expenses of those victims who can’t afford some or all of their treatment? I know that not all pro athletes make millions of dollars, but I’m sure those that do can surely afford to make the donation.

Take for example the ten players in the NFL who have the highest base salaries in the league. Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning makes $18 million, Indianapolis Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney takes in $14 million, Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil is bringing in $14 million, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick is well off with $12.5 million, Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen makes $11.6 million, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is raking in $11.5 million, Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Tamba Hali is making $11.25 million,
Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Jake Long is bringing in $11.2 million and Washington Redskins offensive tackle Trent Williams and Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha are both making $11 million each.

If you combine all of their annual salaries, you get more than $126 million for the year. Now divide that by 12. That’s roughly $10.5 million for just 10 players. There are 1,664 active players right now in the NFL.

If those players pool their salaries for the month of October and donate them as I suggested earlier, that would bring $10.5 million to breast cancer research or support of victims during the month of October. That is one month for 10 people in one sport.

If these 10 players donate their month’s salary, the 10 richest people in baseball hear about this and give their salary and the 10 richest people in basketball do the same. It’s Pay It Forward-Professional Athletes Edition.

It doesn’t end here. The athletes have fans all over the world. If these fans decide to emulate their favorite athletes and give maybe just a portion of what they make this October to breast cancer research or victim support, you’re looking at a phenomenon that would change the lives of more than just the one in eight women in the world who have the disease.

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