The NFL and American Cancer Society are working together for the 13th consecutive year to support the fight against cancer through "Crucial Catch: Intercept Cancer." Kicking off in stadiums this Sunday and continuing through Week 6 games, the initiative aims to address early detection and risk reduction efforts across multiple types of cancers. In 2021, Crucial Catch will again be part of the league's It Takes All of Us cause brand platform.
Crucial Catch encourages people to catch cancer early, when it may be easier to treat. This year, that is a greater challenge than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on screening. At the height of the pandemic, some cancer screenings declined by 90%.
Through Crucial Catch, the NFL and ACS are allocating resources dedicated to safely restarting cancer screenings in communities with the most need. For many forms of cancer, the five-year survival rate is above 90% when detected early before it has a chance to spread.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on cancer screenings, with a screening decline that the ACS expects to lead to more late cancer diagnoses and increased cancer deaths in the future," said Dr. Karen Knudsen, MBA, PhD, chief executive officer of ACS. "This year, it is critical to safely restart cancer screenings and to ensure that everyone has access to lifesaving screening. The strong, ongoing support of the NFL and Crucial Catch is invaluable to ACS’s work to increase cancer screenings, especially in underserved communities that need them most."
Since 2012, the NFL has funded ACS's Community Health Advocates Implementation Nationwide Grants for Empowerment and Equity (CHANGE) grants, which have contributed to over 600,000 screenings in underserved communities and reached more than 1,100,000 million individuals with education, screening reminders and patient navigation, bringing these life-saving messages and screening services to those who need them most.
All 32 NFL teams will have the option of supporting early detection and risk-reduction efforts for one or multiple cancers in-stadium and in their communities. In addition, players may wear cleats and shoelaces in any color representing the type of cancer awareness they support or have been impacted by during their team's Crucial Catch game.
NFL-issued Crucial Catch gameday apparel will feature a multi-colored logo representing all cancers. New this year, New Era and Nike have created newly designed Crucial Catch gear, highlighting the NFL's commitment to drawing awareness to and supporting multiple cancer prevention efforts. Fans can purchase NFL-licensed Crucial Catch apparel on NFLShop.com.
Beginning on Sunday, Oct.3, and continuing through Week 6, NFL Crucial Catch games will feature:
Game-worn Crucial Catch merchandise will be auctioned on NFL Auction. Charitable contributions are donated to ACS to support its CHANGE grant program.
For more information on Crucial Catch and resources for getting screened, visit www.NFL.com/CrucialCatch.