The boys who play tackle football for the Mokena Burros can no longer garb themselves in shades of pink if they want to remain on the gridiron. So says Burros Athletic Director Sal Della Fave.
In an e-mail at the onset of Breast Cancer Awareness Month to his players and coaches, Della Fave laid down the law: Only small, pink stickers can be affixed to helmets. "This is the only approved addition to our uniform," he wrote. "No other pink item is to be added to the uniform ie. socks, laces, duct tape etc. I am holding each of you accountable to ensure compliance."
Patch's story about the decision and the ensuing displeasure felt by moms prompted much conversation among Patch's south suburban Facebook fans and followers of Patch sites.
Here's what they had to say:
"It's unfortunate that someone in a position of power can make a decision that affects some of us so very deeply. It sounds as though Sal just doesn't recognize the fact that some of the players in his league have the hearts and minds to care deeply about the women in their lives. I commend the players that had the gumption to stand up for what they believe and am embarrassed for Sal." — David DeVos, Mokena Patch commenter
"I think instead of wearing pink, make a donation instead. Football players wearing pink does nothing but distract them. For what it's worth, my mom is a 12-year breast cancer survivor." — Deborah Lynn, Palos Patch Facebook
"Yes, wearing pink is more symbolic but in some small way the kids feel like they are doing something. My boys play for the Frankfort Falcons and if they had the same rule, I would make sure to tell all the parents to wear as much pink as possible and make them disqualify the whole team. It's a horrible rule by their Athletic Director. What's the harm?" — Jim Belavich, Tinley Park Patch Facebook
"Have you seen college football uniforms? if anything those uniforms are distractions. It's not like the players are wearing pink to alter the game or cheat by distraction, It's supporting a notable cause, a good cause." — Matt Friesser, Tinley Park Patch Facebook
"I'm going to play devil's advocate here. I suffer from a disease that is not cancer but just as nasty. It's not trendy, nor popular. There are no athletes wearing ANY color for my disease. By the way, I am female. There are times when I resent 'pink' even though I know that is a non-productive emotion. I like the comment about donating. If the athletes are so into helping, then hold a fundraiser and support someone in the community who suffers from cancer or any other disease. That would be a great deal more helpful than just putting on pink socks. ... The youth football community is a caring one and I'm sure the parents and kids can come up with something to replace pink socks. How about all the proceeds from the split the pot be donated to cancer awareness from one week's worth of games?" — Pretty in Pink, Mokena Patch commenter
"Why not donate instead of wearing pink? Everyone is "aware". Let's actually do something about it now." — Joe Franks, Tinley Park Patch Facebook
"Have the football team collect donations while wearing pink. People can wear as much pink as they want, but it's the funding and research that is needed to find a cure. (If they can narrow down a cause, wouldn't it then be easier to find a cure?)" — Inga Balzaras-Rzeszutko, Palos Patch Facebook
"(Sal) must be a lucky man never knowing anyone who has fought this terrible disease. I can't imagine why he wouldn't support and show compassion for those who continue to fight!" — Joe Calzaretta, Beverly-Mount Greenwood Patch Facebook
"Every sport, college and pro wear pink. When i was in the service, we wore pink." — Ken Crosby, Oak Lawn Patch Facebook
"He probably has never met a person struggling with the disease or a survivor. He must be heartless." — Amy Biedermann Rascop, Beverly Mount-Greenwood Patch
"I think the Burros Athletic Director is clueless." — Carol Budz, Orland Park Patch Facebook
"This is about saving lives, not the coach's inability to be a man. ... Real men wear pink proudly!!" — Dave Bagus, Oak Lawn Patch Facebook
"ARE YOU KIDDING ME? There has to be more to this RIGHT??? My son played flag and I am glad they didn't interfere because I would have been one irate mom out there if they limited these boys. GO BURROS. I WOULD FIND MORE INFO OUT AND FIGHT FOR A LITTLE MORE PINK IN THE UNIFORM FOR OCTOBER! — Darlene Kruse, Mokena Patch commenter
Read More on Patch:
- Burros Mom on Breast Cancer Controversy: We Have Severely Lost Focus
- Burros Player Sports Pink Socks Despite Policy Change
This post is published on all Patch network sites in the Southland.