How much from sale of NFL pink gear goes to cancer research?

8:04 PM, Oct 11, 2012   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- In recent years we've seen pink handguns, pink Kentucky Fried Chicken buckets, pink pumpkins and even pink bagels during the month of October.

The National Football League joined the pink brigade a few years ago by promoting October as Breast Cancer Awareness month with players wearing pink gear. Plus, some pink items sold on the NFL's website boast of proceeds going to the American Cancer Society.

But a writer for says the benefit may not be that great and wonders why is the NFL profiting off of breast cancer?

Cork Gaines found the NFL donates just 5 percent, or $5 of a $100 pink item to the ACS.

But he says keep in mind only 70.8 percent of the money the ACS receives goes towards research and cancer programs. The remaining 19.2 percent goes to cover administrative costs, which means for every $100 in NFL pink gear sold only $3.54 goes towards cancer research.

"Yeah, it's a little surprising and I think most fans would be shocked to learn so little of that is actually going towards research," Gaines told 10 News.

Yet in the fight for finding a cure some people like Dr. Hatem Soliman with the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa say every dollar counts.

"From our perspective we're obviously grateful for any kind of support especially in this climate economically it's important to have as much of the philanthropic and sponsored dollars coming in to research, so I think any contribution in my mind would be valuable," Soliman said on Thursday,

To make sure you know just how much of your money is actually going to help out those with cancer when buying pink items, the Better Business Bureau offers these tips:

  • Inspect the product for information
  • Check the company's website
  • Call the company and ask yourself
  • Contact the charity or foundation directly

To be fair, Gaines notes most of the pink items worn by NFL players are auctioned off with all of those proceeds going to the ACS.

But in a league that generates billions of dollars each year he wonders if the NFL couldn't do more to help those fighting breast cancer.

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