Athletes that get paid millions of dollars a year often buy the finer things in life. Whether that be luxury cars, humongous homes or jewelry. But often enough, they put their money towards improving the lives of others. Enter DeAngelo Williams.
Williams is a former running back known for his glory years with the Carolina Panthers who decided to pay for 53 mammograms after his mom passed away in 2006 at 53-years-old from breast cancer. Now, he has since paid for over 500 mammograms through his foundation.
The DeAngelo Williams Foundation calls the campaign “53 Strong for Sandra.” They started by holding mammogram screening events for under-insured women in Charlotte, North Carolina.
They’ve since spread to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Memphis, Tennessee; and Jonesboro, Arkansas.
“Pink is not a color, it’s a culture to me,” he said in a video from 2015 with a few of his dreads dyed pink. “I wear the color pink on the field for the rest of my career. To all the survivors and the ones that’s going through it, we love you. You’re not alone. We will continue this fight against breast cancer.”
And a few years later, it’s clear that Williams still just wants to aid in any way he can.
“To be able to help all these women is amazing. This can be life-changing for these women,” Williams said in a statement to TODAY. “We are enabling them to get this care that no one should ever be denied or not have access to.”
NFL fans will notice that since 2009 the NFL has been a supporter of breast cancer awareness and included the color pink in many of its players’ accessories. At the time, 10 years ago, Williams played a key role in advocating for the league to support the foundation. He’d go on to petition the League to have pink included in his uniform all season but was turned down.