Every October, American football fans are treated to the specter of watching their hulking heroes wrap themselves in pink for the NFL's "A Crucial Catch" campaign, a partnership in which the league raises money and projects goodwill for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
And while the proceedings have never escaped criticism from either fans or observers, generally speaking, the league comes out looking benevolent as the pink merch firehose douses stadiums, fans, and players.
However, as the campaign enters its sixth year, it's hard to imagine anything will look more tone deaf than the NFL trumpeting its commitment to the health of women amid a horrifying spate of domestic violence stories. With Breast Cancer Awareness Month just weeks away (and with, for example, former Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice planning to appeal his indefinite suspension), many have commented on how the league's pink initiative will make for an uncomfortable national moment.
Yesterday, on Meet the Press, Bryant Gumbel was not sanguine about the pink, saying acidly that the NFL is "good at masquerading" and "they are going to pinkwash once again":
Following Gumbel's appearance, the Meet the Press panel chimed in, adding that if the league knows what's best for it, the NFL will change pink to purple, the color for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which is also observed in October.