Chicago Bears’ Brandon Marshall Shows Green While Teammates Show Pink

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Theme:– A Conversation on Gun Violence, Bias and Mental Illness

The NY Giants haven’t yet won a game this season. The Chicago Bears didn’t make it any easier. That’s one of many surprises as some teams are bleeding red in the win/loss column. Many players have been wearing pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness. Brandon Marshall was seen wearing green instead.

Each October the NFL teams-up with the American Cancer Society. Their annual awareness campaign brings attention to breast cancer sufferers and survivors. It’ not that Marshall doesn’t support this cause. His green cleats were to promote Mental Health Awareness Week which also occurs in October.

So the NFL sent a letter to Marshall explaining why he was fined $10,500. It’s a lot of money for the average person. Marshall himself was diagnosed in 2011 with ‘borderline personality disorder.’ He understands the stigma people feel and maybe it’s why pro sports is such an important part of his story.

Marshall tweeted “Football is my platform not my purpose. This fine is nothing compared to the conversation started and awareness raised.” He makes a great point about how sports can play a purposeful role. It might also be an effective platform to stem gun violence, bias and mental health issues.

The debate in sports circles is that the NFL needs to broaden its support for other awareness campaigns advocated by athletes. Sure, it’s impossible to support every such effort. Some feel instead of making one campaign the “Queen” they can make a cross-section of campaigns part of their awareness strategy.

Footnote: Organized sports can provide an outlet for those dealing with hometown issues and a platform for a larger conversation on social issues.

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