Union players worry they cannot wear pink jerseys

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Updated: 10/05/2012 1:29 am Published: 10/04/2012 11:24 pm

A group of seventh graders on a Tulsa Union school football team are possibly going to be prohibited to wear their pink and black jerseys that support breast cancer awareness. 

“The families raised the money during the last few months to purchase the black jerseys with hot pink numbers and names printed on them,” said one team mom, Lara Patterson. 

Her son is the team’s quarterback and approached her earlier this year explaining he wanted to find a way to support a former teacher of his who is battling breast cancer. 

“He said, ‘What about jerseys to show our support? That’d be cool.’ And I said, jerseys would be cool!” said Patterson.  “Sometimes his maturity surprises me.  I am so proud of him.  His great grandmother died of breast cancer.”

Most of the players already have initials embroidered on their jerseys of the loved one in their life who they are supporting.  

“Number 21, his grandma is a two-time survivor,” said Patterson.  “Number 29 asked for initials on his jersey.”

“My great grandmother died from breast cancer,” said 12-year-old center, Ryan Holcolb.

“I just want to represent my aunt who just recently died of breast cancer,” said 12-year-old running back Charles Harris. 

“My grandma is in my heart, I think of her when I am on the field,” said 12-year-old Reid Smith. 

Parents told FOX23 the football officials, The Indian Nation Football Council and the Union Youth Football Association’s president, Mark Farquhar have said the players are not allowed to wear the pink and black jerseys during the games. 

FOX23 called both the Council and Farquhar but were unable to get a response.

“When we told the boys that they would possibly not be able to wear them they were crushed,” said Patterson. 

“It’ll make me said because all the people supporting breast cancer and supporting my aunt,” said Harris. 

“It would be disappointing and pretty sad,” said Smith as he felt the top of his jersey where he wants to have his grandmother’s initials sewn on. 

The players have said they plan on wearing the jerseys anyway on Saturday night’s away game against Sand Springs even if that means risking forfeiting the game. 

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

CowBot9000 - 10/5/2012 7:44 PM
0 Votes
I understand your point, Queen, and I know you're passionate about a very serious issue that is worthy of time and money for as long and as much as it costs. However, I think it's a bad idea to teach children that an innocuous gesture automatically affects a positive change. Sentiment cannot be equated with action. I'd encourage these boys to do what they did to raise money for those jerseys and donate it to cancer research. THAT is action and to be commended.

QUEEN - 10/5/2012 3:39 PM
0 Votes
Cowbot9000 these are Children that are not old enough to get a job, and most places wont even let a child donate their time because of there age. I personally don't see a thing wrong with them wearing those Jerseys this Month since it is Breast Cancer Awareness month, at least they will all be wearing the same color Jerseys, its not like someone will be wearing yellow, and another wearing green and so forth. GO UNION 7th GRADE FOOT BALL PLAYERS I AM ROOTING FOR YOU...

CowBot9000 - 10/5/2012 11:06 AM
0 Votes
So donating time and money to something is less mature than wearing a ribbon? How does that work?

Tiffany - 10/5/2012 9:54 AM
0 Votes
QUEEN you are missing the point here. It has nothing to do with Cancer. Everyone knows someone who has cancer, died from cancer, or is battling cancer. Why couldnt this team tell the organization what they wanted to do and get permission. At that point the organization as a whole could have allowed the entire league to do this and everyone could have a chance to get pink jerseys. I know first hand that the INFC provided all teams a website so that they could purchase pink socks, chin straps, wristbands, mouth pieces, etc. INFC, Union, and all youth organizations support Cancer awareness. What they dont support is doing things with out permission. If everyone just does what ever they want then why have organizations?

QUEEN - 10/5/2012 9:23 AM
0 Votes
When I read this story, I cried. I am a 2 time cancer survivor. I do not live in Tulsa and have no desire to but These boys make me proud to live in Oklahoma. And these young men should be able to wear their Jerseys to show their support for Breast Cancer Awareness since it does mean something personal to some of these boys. And if they do wear their Jerseys in this next game and that would mean they would have to forfeit the game then they are more of an Adult than the two people that commented on here . GO UNION 7TH GRADE FOOTBALL PLAYERS, STAND UP TO WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN.

Tiffany - 10/5/2012 8:48 AM
1 Vote
This team should have got permission from their league BEFORE changing the uniform. Pink accessories are allowed but when you change the entire look of the league then you need to receive permission to do so. Just because its about Cancer doesnt make it ok. I think that people are making this out to be about Union being against Cancer Awareness and its not. Its about the League maintaining a look. You can not go out and buy green pants and green helmets when ever you feel like it. You can not decide to use smiley face logos instead of league logos. This is all common knowledge. Whether its Aids awareness, Cancer awareness, or child abuse awareness, the league is in charge.

CowBot9000 - 10/5/2012 6:32 AM
1 Vote
I'll be glad when meaningless gestures are out of fashion. If you want to show support for something like this, go raise money for research or donate your time at a hospital. "Awareness" ribbons are nothing but cheap sentiment.
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