Procter & Gamble Co.’s Crest has canceled a breast cancer awareness event with the National Football League amid growing controversy over how the league deals with domestic violence.
Crest had planned to publicize the American Cancer Society’s breast-cancer fighting efforts with NFL teams on the playing field, an event it will forgo this year, Procter & Gamble said today in an e-mailed message. The brand is still making its planned $100,000 donation to the charity.
Crest “will participate in media and retailer activities to help drive attention to the cause,” the Cincinnati-based company said in the statement. “The brand has decided to cancel on-field activation with NFL teams.”
NFL players have been involved in several highly publicized cases of alleged domestic violence in recent weeks. In the latest incident, Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer is accused of head-butting his wife in the face, breaking her nose, and throwing a shoe into the stomach of their 17-month-old son. Dwyer, 25, who was arrested two days ago by Phoenix police, was moved yesterday by the Cardinals to the reserve/non-football illness list.
The fight against breast cancer has been a key campaign for the NFL, which sells pink-colored gear and clothing to raise money for the American Cancer Society. The effort has helped soften the image of a league contending with abuse cases and concerns about head injuries.
Crest becomes the latest brand to take a tougher stance against the NFL. Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, a longtime sponsor, said this week that it was “increasingly concerned” about the situation with domestic abuse.
“We are not yet satisfied with the league’s handling of behaviors that so clearly go against our own company culture and moral code,” the beer company said.
Last week, running back Ray Rice was released by the Baltimore Ravens and banned indefinitely by the NFL after video emerged of him knocking out his fiancee with a punch inside a hotel casino elevator in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The National Organization for Women called for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s ouster over his handling of the Rice case.
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who is charged with abusing his 4-year-old son, and Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy, who is appealing a 60-day suspended jail sentence he received in July for assaulting a former girlfriend, were placed on the NFL’s Exempt/Commissioner’s Permission list and left their teams two days ago.
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