Running back DeAngelo Williams may not have a lot of fans outside of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ nation or those that still support him from his Carolina Panthers’ days, but he’s gained more now. The bruising back has said that he is going to pay for 53 mammograms during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month to honor his late mother, Sandra Hill.
According to Bleacher Report, Williams is indeed going to pay for the 53 mammograms across two states. They will be at hospitals in Pittsburgh and Charlotte, North Carolina. The reason for the 53? Well, it’s because that was the age his mother Sandra Hill was when she passed away to breast cancer over a year ago.
“It’s not just about October for me; it’s not just a month, it’s a lifestyle. It’s about getting women to recognize to get tested.”
Ever since Oct. 1, Williams has decked himself out in as much pink as possible so that he can honor his mother. He even reached out to the NFL and petitioned for them to give him permission to wear pink past the end of October, but the request was denied.
It’s not really surprising that the league denied his request as they are usually very strict with the uniform policy. Others believe it is for different reasons that that the NFL is not really in the highest support of women, but that’s merely the opinion of some.
DeAngelo Williams has dyed his hair pink and the braids can be seen flowing freely when he is on the field for the Steelers. In a first-person essay for Sports Illustrated, the Pittsburgh running back talked about how important October is and always bringing awareness to breast cancer research.
“Breast cancer, whether I like it or not, is part of my family’s story, That’s why I am so passionate about raising awareness, because I have seen firsthand how it can impact others. One time, a lady came up to me and said she was going to get examined just because she saw me wearing pink cleats during a game.”
ESPN reported that Williams spoke with Troy Vincent, the NFL vice president of football operations, by phone and was advised he couldn’t wear pink accessories throughout the season. He wanted to wear pink shoes or even pink wristbands, but there are no exceptions to the uniform policy.
When advised of that decision by the NFL, Williams dyed his hair pink. He was upset by the league’s decision, but knows he simply has to move on.
“The same way it made you feel after you heard it — like, man. He told me no. I’m assuming they are telling everybody else no as well…. It wasn’t about selling it. You know and I know and everybody else knows before I made the phone call.”
His dyed pink hair does pass the uniform test from the NFL and Williams is allowed to keep the color in. He has also put pink nail polish on his toenails in the past as he wants to always draw as much attention to the cause as humanly possible.
During the month of October, the NFL does have pink towels and gloves and goal post protectors and other such things. It’s to help raise notice to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but the color disappears after Halloween.
The pink hair began before landing with the Pittsburgh Steelers this year, and DeAngelo Williams is going to keep it as long as he feels like it. Honoring Sandra Hill, his late mother, is something that he won’t want to stop doing and he knows those 53 mammograms will help many other women try to stay safe in the fight against breast cancer.
[Images via Getty Images – Maddie Meyer/Evan Habeeb]