Each NFL team has their own charity projects and causes that they support. There are quite a few charitable causes, however, that are supported not just by the teams but by the NFL itself. These causes are breast cancer awareness, supporting our military, prostate cancer awareness, and environmental conservation. The NFL strives to bring awareness to these under discussed issues and bring help to those in need.
Breast Cancer Awareness
Perhaps the most well known of these league causes is breast cancer awareness. During breast cancer awareness month, players can be seen sporting pink cleats, sweat bands, and pink breast cancer ribbon patches on their jerseys. Even the fields get decorated with pink awareness ribbons. The name of the NFL breast cancer awareness campaign is A Crucial Catch. This campaign stresses the importance of annual screening, and self checking in order to catch breast cancer in its early, more treatable form. For this incentive the NFL has teamed up with the American Cancer Society. All of the apparel worn on the fields by the teams and coaches is auctioned off to benefit the American Cancer Society’s Community Health Advocates National Grants for Empowerment (CHANGE) program. The NFL has also licensed official NFL PINK merchandise, the proceeds of which also go to the American Cancer Society.
NFL Green is the name of the NFL’s environmental conservation incentive. As part of this incentive the NFL and all of its participating venues are working to promote eco friendly events and lessen the impact of mankind on nature. There are many actions which the NFL has taken to make good on its promise to help our environment. A major focus has been put on making the Super Bowl a greener event. In recent years some of the plans which have been implemented are:
- Solid Waste Management/Recycling — Effective solid waste management is utilized at all Super Bowl facilities including the stadium, media centers, and hotels.
- Prepared Food Recovery — Excess prepared food from Super Bowl games is collected for donation to soup kitchens, shelters and other outreaches that feed the homeless and needy.
- Materials Donation — Decorative materials, building materials, office supplies and other reusable items left from Super Bowl events are donated to nonprofit organizations.
- Sports Equipment and Book Donation Project — The Super Kids-Super Sharing Sports Equipment and Book Donation project gets students to collect usable items from schools in the weeks preceding the Super Bowl. The items collected are donated to schools and youth outreach centers..
- Greenhouse Gas Reduction/Renewable Energy — The NFL uses renewable energy credits (REC) offsetting all energy use of a Super Bowl event. The NFL also plants trees every year in a reforestation effort.
For prostate cancer and supporting our troops, the NFL holds many raffles and auctions with proceeds benefiting each cause through charities that support the different aspects of each issue. The NFL holds awareness campaigns for prostate cancer, much in the same way that they do for breast cancer, still using the American Cancer Society as their main partner. In their efforts to support our military donations from raffles, donors, and auctions are given to VA hospitals, programs for returning veterans, and charities for struggling vets.
The NFL puts a lot of time, effort, and heart into raising help for their causes. The NFL, being one of the most popular businesses in the country, certainly makes sure that they do their part to spread the wealth and use their notoriety for good.