UNA football team shows support for breast cancer awareness

Senior linebacker C.J. Jackson shows his support for breast cancer awareness by wearing pink for the Oct. 31 game against Delta State. The entire football team is supporting the cause.

When a team puts on its uniform, it is easy to distinguish what the colors represent.

This week, the UNA football team will don its purple and gold uniforms against rival Delta State, a team that proudly wears green and white.

It is also likely both teams will wear one color in particular to represent a cause going beyond the football field: pink.

“I think (breast cancer awareness) is a great cause,” said UNA Athletic Director Mark Linder. “Our society has deemed sports to be very important. Since it is so important in our culture, we can use that as a platform to create awareness.”

Linder said he encourages the ones who wear pink to think about the reason behind doing so.

“My hope is that when people put (pink) on, it clicks in their mind why they are doing it,” he said. “We have staff members on the university campus that have fought breast cancer and won. I think they are heroes.”

Senior linebacker C.J. Jackson makes it a point to wear as much pink as possible during the month of October.

“My auntie had breast cancer and passed away in 2012,” Jackson said. “I (wear pink) for all of the people going through breast cancer. We only get one month out of the year to show them they are not alone.”

When Jackson wears pink, he goes all out. He said he does not do it to draw attention to himself, rather to commemorate his aunt and others like her.

“I think a lot of people get the impression I do this for looks,” he said. “But there’s a purpose for why I’m doing it. I know what I’m doing it for.”

Sophomore offensive lineman Lawrence Carmichael said he lost his grandmother to breast cancer and appreciates any form of breast cancer awareness.

“It’s a really good thing colleges, high schools and the NFL recognize breast cancer,” Carmichael said. “I’m glad football at all levels supports the cause.”

Carmichael said he thinks it would be good for a team to support the cause in unison rather than individually.

“My high school team supplied us pink wristbands that we all wore together,” he said. “If people see a team wearing something together and not just individually, (the team is) respected a lot more for it.”

Freshman Brittany Pitt, who works as an equipment manager for the football team, loves when the team supports a common cause.

“I think it’s great when players wear pink,” Pitt said. “I think it shows they care not only about the game, but they care about the cause. They aren’t just playing for themselves, but playing for others.”

While breast cancer awareness is a popular cause among fans, Pitt said she would like to see more causes represented throughout the year, including one personal to her.

“I haven’t really been personally affected by breast cancer, but I have by leukemia,” she said. “(If teams wore orange armbands), it would show that other people care about the cause, too.”