I’ve always felt that fashion is a great way to express yourself. Sometimes it’s about making a fashion statement about your personal taste or culture and other times it’s a lot bigger than that. This past basketball season I decided I would play in a pair of pink shoes. They were the Nike Kobe Bryant Kay Yow Cancer Foundation 6s to be exact.
I received a lot of mixed reactions from this particular pair of shoes but most of it was good and most of it was from women. I think men in our society often have a difficult times understanding or embracing things that have a traditionally feminine association- but that’s a whole other story. I’m sure some people thought I was wearing them just to get attention while others saw the connection between them and cancer awareness support. Maybe some even looked closely enough to notice the little pink ribbon on the side of each shoe.
During one particular game I was greeted by a group of hecklers who weren’t so supportive of my decision to wear pink. Instead this group decided to make a mockery of them and me. Now I don’t usually take things personal but I felt that they were making a joke out of what my shoes stood for. Now I’m sure this particular group of guys would claim that they didn’t know but that is not an acceptable excuse to me. My guess is they were too ignorant to understand what it meant to represent something bigger than yourself and were trying their hardest to be the funny guys in the crowd. I want people to know that there will always be people like this and the best thing to do is to ignore them or use their negativity and turn it into positive energy. Whatever you do don’t ever let them destroy your hope.
Now I know that me wearing pink shoes isn’t going to directly help cure cancer. I also know that I am not a doctor or scientist and will never be in a position to find a cure. Its not always about finding a cure. Sometimes its about finding strength and hope. I think if we can find that then we can find a way. I don’t wear pink shoes because I think it will help find a cure. I wear them to offer hope so that those affected know that people care. I also wear them to honor those who continue to fight, some who are very dear to my heart. Some who have always cheered me on in whatever I do. Its my way of cheering them on as they take on challenges far greater than anything I’ve ever encountered on a basketball court. Maybe my shoes have not done much for the cause but maybe, just maybe they helped create a little hope in someone’s heart.
And if that’s true then I will gladly continue to be heckled for my shoes.
Learn more about the Kay Yow Foundation here.