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Thinking Pink

May 14, 2013
by Dan Voigt , Emmetsburg News

Perhaps by now you good readers have figured out that I am pretty cynical when it comes to our state and national government on certain issues. I?will be the first to admit that I've got my opinions on some of the issues that they feel are important, and unless I?miss my guess, a lot of you feel an awful lot like I do.

Here's one of the latest issues to prompt the old "REALLY?" when it first came out.

A little history. Back in the 1980's in the era of Coach Hayden Fry and the Iowa Hawkeye Football team, Coach Fry had the visiting team's locker room at Kinnick Stadium painted pink.

At the time, Coach Fry cited studies done by military psychologists on how colors affect people, and his determination was that pink was not conducive to a visiting football team on the U of I campus. To this day, the pink locker room has become a bit of the Big 10 folklore.

But in the last couple of months, a speaker at the Iowa Governor's Conference on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Youth in Des Moines called the color "pink shaming" and "sexist and homophobic," citing the Iowa visitors' lockerroom as an example of that.

Those remarks got some folk's dander riled or rubbed their fur the wrong way, because suddenly a cry went out for the Governor to order the University of Iowa to deal with the pink lockerroom.

But, the Governor came back and said simply that the decision about the pink locker room at the University of Iowa Kinnick Stadium should be left to school officials.

"So I'm going to go down and try to tell the football coach what color he's going to paint the locker room? The governor should not be doing those things," Governor Branstad said.

Upon hearing the Governor's comments on the issue, I?actually took heart - there is some spark of hope in our state capital....perhaps not huge, but a spark, nonetheless.

But in the past couple of weeks, I kept being reminded of how pink has become such an integral part of our daily lives.

Not a day goes by that people aren't reminded to "think pink" in support of those with cancer - a fantastic way to keep such a cold and heartless disease at the forefront of our too-busy lives. It doesn't matter who you are, where you live or what you do, you know someone who has dealt with, or is fighting cancer. Sadly, we also all know someone who has not won that fight.

In the sporting world, "Pink Out"?games have been held for the past few years here in our own county to support research and keep awareness of cancer at the forefront of the public's consciousness. Each year, the Emmetsburg Volleyball, Softball and Girls Basketball teams participate in "Pink Out" games to do their part to support the cause. The Emmetsburg FFA?just held a fund raising effort where monies collected through a "Kiss the Calf" promotion were presented to an educational aide in the school district to assist her with her ongoing battle with cancer.

We all know someone who has or is battling this disease - here at The Reporter and The Democrat, we know that someone too well - she's been one of our ""family""?for over 20 years.Like everyone who supports a friend with cancer, we too support and hope that soon, a cure will be found. But until then, there is hope - and our prayers.



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