Steelers’ running back DeAngelo Williams has become a fan favorite among Steelers’ fans in his 18 months as a member of the black and gold. Besides his stellar play while filling in for Le’Veon Bell, Williams is one of the most active players on the team in social media use, and is constantly interacting with fans on various platforms. On top of that, Williams also is a player many fans like to root for because of the history with breast cancer in his family, and his efforts to raise awareness and research into the terrible disease.
October is breast cancer awareness month, something the NFL tries to support by having the players wear just about anything they can that is pink. Among the players getting into the spirit is Jets receiver Brandon Marshall, who took to twitter over the weekend to announce that he is going to autograph and donate a pair of pink cleats to Williams so the running back can auction them off to charity.
It’s a nice gesture from a guy who is going to be competing against Williams on Sunday to show that some things are bigger than football. Williams wants to use the money raised to fund mammograms for at risk women.
Williams and his mother have been high profile champions for the cause, something Williams has enthusiastically carried on since his mother’s passing in 2014. Williams had a hand in establishing the NFL’s role in breast cancer awareness back in 2009. Every year since then the NFL and the players have done more and more to support the cause, something the league is quick to point out and publicize every fall with new commercials and pink merchandise. It is one of the most visible examples of giving back that any sports league does.
Of course, this being the NFL, they can’t even promote charities without shooting themselves in the foot, as evidenced last year when they fined Williams for writing positive messages into his eye black to honor his mother because it didn’t comply with the uniform policy. Combine that information with the shocking report from ESPN’s Darren Rovell that only eight percent of all money raised actually goes to cancer research and it’s hard not to be exasperated at the NFL for the way they do business.
Still, it’s commendable for the players and the league to donate any amount to a worthy cause and Brandon Marshall deserves respect from Steeler Nation for putting his priorities in the right order.