More than a uniform combo …

WSU joins nation in breast cancer awareness



Each WSU sports team wears pink at some point during their season to spotlight fund raising for breast cancer awareness and treatment.

SAM TAYLOR, Evergreen sports co-editor

For over two decades, professional and collegiate sports teams from across the country have worn pink in October and at other points throughout the year in honor of breast cancer awareness.

Approximately 264,000 women and 2,400 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, according to the CDC.

Sports teams began spotlighting breast cancer research as organizations in 2001. The WNBA was the earliest champion of the cause with Major League Baseball following close behind and the NFL joining the fight by the end of the decade.

By the late 2000s, colleges such as WSU joined the fight as their sports teams wore custom uniforms with the breast cancer awareness logo and highlights of pink worn proudly.

Each year, WSU women’s and men’s basketball wear pink in honor of breast cancer awareness. The women’s basketball team hands out “Wave the Flag” pink shirts.

A video from WSU Athletics highlights one of the university’s first breast cancer weekends in 2010 in which volleyball, soccer and swimming each wore pink and spotlighted the cause.

WNBA teams each host a breast cancer awareness night and donate money to the cause each year. Today, WNBA breast health awareness games are hosted in August as a part of their WNBA Fit Month.

The WNBA offered an online tool to assist people with breast and ovarian cancer screenings. The tool helped over 10,000 people receive a free assessment.

The MLB began breast cancer activism as a league also in 2001. In 2004,  the league partnered with the Susan G. Komen breast cancer Foundation.

The NFL began using its national platform in 2009 with breast cancer awareness games and using the whole month of October to spotlight the cause. Pink highlights on uniforms have become the norm in October.

Through slick pink uniform combinations and dialogue WSU Athletics joins professional sports in highlighting the cause of breast cancer and helps the world get closer to a cure.