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Johnson, Williams among players to wear pink


Wide receiver Andre Johnson will wear these pink-and-white Nike shoes on Sunday to help promote breast cancer awareness.

There will be an abundance of pink on the field when the Texans play the Oakland Raiders on Sunday at Reliant Stadium. The NFL has encouraged players to wear pink gloves and pink wristbands, even use pink towels on the sidelines, as part of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. Coaches will wear pink ribbons on their shirts.

Also, four Texans players will be wearing pink shoes: wide receiver Andre Johnson, defensive end Mario Williams, receiver David Anderson and running back Ryan Moats.

Johnson received a pair of new hot pink-and-white cleats with shiny silver soles from Nike this week.

"I have never worn pink in my life that I can remember," he said. "Especially not pink gloves or pink cleats or anything like that. But it's a good cause, and I'll definitely have it on on Sunday."

According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the second-most common cancer and second-highest cause of cancer death in women in the United States. Women stand about a one in eight chance (12 percent) of developing breast cancer at some point in their lives. Most doctors feel that early detection tests can save thousands of lives each year.

The cause hits close to home for players like Moats, whose mother-in-law, Jonetta Collinsworth, died of breast cancer this summer; and Anderson, whose grandmother, Katie, and great-grandmother, Mary Kay Alexander, fell victim to the disease.

"My mom is actually involved with the NFL Mother's Association, and her two main things are school and fighting cancer," Anderson said. "She heard some guys were going to be wearing pink cleats, and she's been harping on me since a while ago. Her whole side of the family goes in for regular checkups. It's something that's close to my family and something that I'd love to honor."

{QUOTE}Johnson doesn't personally know anyone that has been a victim of the disease, but he is happy to support the cause.

"I think we bring a lot of attention because you look at as many kids and as many people that watch football, and they're going to be like, 'Why are they out there with pink shoes, pink gloves?'" he said.

"Someone will eventually tell them we're supporting breast cancer (research) and they'll learn more about it. Hopefully, kids will learn more about it, people in general will learn more about it and we'll show that we're in support of helping people in that tough situation."

Though the color pink is rarely associated with the game of football, players aren't the least bit uncomfortable with the idea of wearing it.

"It's like the guys in baseball when they wear the hat and (use) those pink bats," Anderson said. "Guys know what it's about and what it represents. It's not like you're wearing a pink tuxedo on a road trip.

"Anything you can do to show your awareness and your support for those that have such a terrible thing happen to them, I'm more than happy to do."

If a player isn't wearing pink on Sunday, it doesn't mean that he does not support breast cancer awareness. The league chose a select number of players from each team to wear pink cleats, and teams don't have an unlimited supply of wristbands and gloves to give to the rest of the players.

Wide receiver Kevin Walter wasn't able to secure pink shoes, but he got his hands on some pink receiver gloves and is excited to wear them on Sunday.

"We're wearing them this whole month, and I think it's pretty neat," he said. "You get to see guys go out there and support breast cancer awareness, and it's a major thing going on. My wife's aunt has breast cancer, and it's real sad to see. Any type of cancer is a sad thing. But I'm glad we're supporting this."

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