It’s incredible to see the Tennessee Titans’ stadium covered with the color pink.
Admittedly – seeing NFL players wear pink socks and gloves is a little odd, but the meaning behind the color erases all abnormalities.
Throughout the month of October, athletes of all sports and ages wear something extra to help raise awareness, celebrate survivors and remember the victims of breast cancer.
My brother, who is as tall as me and weighs an additional 60 pounds in muscle, wears as much pink as possible to every McCracken County Mustangs football game.
Levi doesn’t wear it because he has to – in my family, pink is a very important color.
From a young age, I remember questioning my grandmother and her new purse with the phrase, “save the ta-tas” across it.
She happily explained what it meant, and from then on, I knew what every pink ribbon, blanket and sticker stood for.
My Mama Jane was diagnosed at 29 years old with breast cancer and soon faced a bilateral mastectomy.
After her successful recovery, she joined the organization Reach to Recover, where she began counseling other women faced with the same grueling decision – whether or not to lose both of their breasts.
She told me the youngest woman she ever counseled before surgery was 18 years old.
Twelve percent of all American women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime, according to The American Cancer Society.
In 2013, the ACS predicts that nearly 40,000 women will die from the disease.
But the 2.8 million survivors in the U.S. hold a type of strength incomparable with any other kind.
Many times, these survivors have lost their hair, their confidence and the physical symbolism of being a woman.
The strength they have, to consistently want to help others and raise awareness, is staggering.
It is only appropriate that sports be tied to this serious health condition.
Sports represent vigor and perseverance – even when the road ahead looks dark.
As more players nationwide dress in pink and survivors fill stadiums with proud smiles across their faces, I’m sad to say I notice a lack of pink at Murray State.
At a school where so many philanthropy and community service events are held, why aren’t our stands, courts and fields riddled with pink?
Why don’t we see the pink balloons and the banners honoring those who have had more courage than any athlete could possibly imagine?
I know players may buy gloves on their own time and even with their own money.
But I want something big – I want to see those smiles, the tears and the appreciation of flawless strength.
Column by Lexy Gross, Editor-in-Chief