Referees wear pink for cancer awareness
Pink isn't necessarily the color that comes to mind when you're thinking about football, but this weekend, there will be a lot more of the color on the field.
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CAPITAL REGION -- Every week when he steps under the Friday night lights, referee Kris Thompson of the Capital District Football Official's Association, sports the same black and white striped uniform, but on this particular Friday night, he has added some accessories.
"This is a personal issue for me. My sister has cancer," said Thompson.
Adorned with pink wristbands and whistles, Thompson and his fellow Capital District high school football referees are throwing a flag against cancer. He came up with the idea after umpiring a Coaches vs. Cancer baseball game in the spring.
"We kind of worked all summer. We got approval from the association and allowed me to come speak to them. He has been effected by cancer with his sister, and really rallied his group together," explained Meredith Noonan, Coaches vs. Cancer Division Manager.
So far, they have teamed up to raise more than $1,500 for the American Cancer Society.
"It is really them getting excited and challenging each other. Oh, you gave this much? Well I'm going to give $5 more. It is kind of that great camaraderie we see with athletics," noted Noonan.
Thompson added, "On the football field, officials might have different perspectives, different priorities than the football coaches or the players, but certainly off the field, we are in unison and together in the fight against cancer."
By getting all of the Section II officials to participate, Thompson is confident that their visible, on-field display will encourage local football fans to join them in their fight against this devastating disease.
"This affects our mothers, our sisters, our daughters. Certainly, we want to step up. Our organization has outstanding football officials, but they are even better men," said Thompson.