Kevin Huntley can finally pay tribute to his grandmother.
The Toronto Argonauts defensive lineman and other CFL players will be allowed to wear pink-coloured items during games this weekend to help raise awareness for women's cancers. Huntley created a stir last year when he wanted to don pink apparel for a contest that was being broadcast in the U.S. in honour of his grandmother, an 87-year-old cancer survivor, but couldn't because it violated the CFL's uniform policy.
"I didn't want to create a problem, I just wanted people to know I was dealing with something personally that meant a lot to me," Huntley said Tuesday. "That was a way I could show my grandmother how much I appreciate her and how proud I am that she dealt with something always with a smile on her face and always in stride and never once complained.
"I'm a football player, this is what I prepare my body to do and I still have days where I complain, I'm sore and tired and don't feel like dealing with stuff. Yet she went through that and never complained and actually took time out of her day to ask me if I was OK or if I wanted her to make me something to eat. Man, that's amazing because if anyone had a reason to complain, it was her."
Huntley, 29, knows that first-hand. When his grandmother was first diagnosed, it was the hulking six-foot-seven, 294-pound Huntley who took her to the chemotherapy sessions.
Reebok will provide CFL players with pink gloves, wrist bands, helmet decals and other items. On-field officials will use pink whistles while coaches and team personnel will wear pink-coloured sideline gear.