We salute Pittsburgh Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams for keeping the memory of his late mother, Sandra Hill, alive in such an impactful way. In 2014 she succumbed to breast cancer at the age of 53. According to ABC, he’s also lost four aunts to the disease. In memory of his mother, DeAngelo will now pay for 53 women to have mammograms throughout Charlotte and Pittsburgh.
DeAngelo has been championing for breast cancer awareness throughout his career. In 2009 he helped to rally the NFL to allow players to wear pink cleats during breast cancer awareness month. Outside of October, the league has banned DeAngelo from wearing pink accents on his uniform.
“There is a long-standing policy for all players regarding uniforms that is league-wide for all 32 teams. The league works with the clubs and players to raise awareness collectively for breast cancer during the month of October” read a statement released by the NFL.
The league doesn’t sanction the way DeAngelo wears his hair so he dyed his dreads pink! “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” he wrote in an essay for Sports Illustrated.
He also shared this touching story, “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. I walked away thinking, Wow, pink is really so much more than just a color. It’s a lifesaver. It’s awareness. If we reach one, we reach millions. If we reach millions, we’re doing our job and getting closer to finding a cure.”
Check out his awesome NFL commercial regarding his support for breast cancer awareness as well as a PSA about the importance of early detection from mammograms.