Watch CBS News

NFL Denies DeAngelo Williams' Request To Wear Pink All Season To Honor Mother

BOSTON (CBS) -- The NFL supports breast cancer awareness during the month of October. Apparently, the league's interest in the cause is limited solely to that month on the calendar.

ESPN's Lisa Salters reported during Monday night's game that Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams wanted to wear pink gear all season long to honor his mother, Sandra Hill, who lost her fight with breast cancer last year.

The NFL said no.

"DeAngelo Williams was told over the phone by NFL vice president of football operations Troy Vincent that he couldn't wear pink accessories throughout the season because there are no exceptions to the uniform policy," ESPN reported.

Williams' workaround to the decision was to dye parts of his hair pink, which is not governed by the league's uniform policy.

"It's not just about October for me. It's not just a month, it's a lifestyle," Williams told Salters. "It's about getting women to recognize to get tested."

It's not the first time that an NFL entity has shown little sympathy to Williams. In a sitdown interview with WBTV in Charlotte last offseason, Williams said that the Carolina Panthers organization offered almost no support or sympathy after his mother passed away.

"Nobody came to the funeral. The owner [Jerry Richardson] didn't reach out. He didn't say anything. Never talked to me. Nobody upstairs ever talked to me. The only two people who ever said anything to me was Coach [Ron] Rivera and [general manger] Dave Gettleman. Everybody else was ... they were busy because it was the draft," Williams told WBTV. "I was upset with Carolina, because the last five or six years during October, [my mom] was celebrated, but then when she was no longer here -- let's move on. [I was] very disappointed. And, somewhat angry ... it stung to know that a place of business that you've worked for, you've bled, you've played through injuries, you've done everything you possibly can for this organization to be successful, and then upon your darkest hour, they let you handle it by yourself."

In 2009, Williams came up with the idea for NFL players to wear pink shoes during the month of October.

"Nothing is stronger than wearing pink on the thing that keeps you going in the National Football League, and that's your cleats," Williams said back in '09. "Because if you don't have a firm foot in the ground, you're going to slip."

Last year, The Washington Post reported that about 12.5 percent of sales of pink NFL memorabilia goes to the American Cancer Society.


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.