Dante Cano had a dream. The 11-year-old from Marlboro, NJ, came up with an idea for the NFL to use pink penalty flags in October for breast cancer awareness month. To make his dream a reality, Cano wrote a letter directly to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, in hopes that he would take his idea into consideration. As it turns out, he went to the right man.
The letter, in its entirety, reads:
Dear Roger Goodell,
My name is Dante Cano. I am from Marlboro New Jersey and I am 11 years old. I wanted to know if you could use my idea of pink penalty flags in October for breast cancer awareness. Please write back.
It’s simple, to the point, adorable. And, apparently, effective.
On Sunday, when the Miami Dolphins play the New York Jets, pink penalty flags will be thrown instead of yellow ones. But Goodell didn’t stop there. He also invited Cano and his family to present the flags to referees before the start of the game. Goodell said he’s looking forward to meeting Dante, and “sometimes the simplest ideas can be the best.”
The NFL has already turned many aspects of the game pink to raise breast cancer awareness this October. Players have been wearing pink game apparel and using special balls, pink ribbon stencils have been painted on fields, and referees have been tossing pink coins in the air. But this will be the first idea brought to them by a fifth grader, and one can only imagine the joy it will bring him to watch pink flags being thrown.
Cano may or may not have expected a response from Goodell, but when he wrote, “Please write back,” he made his courage – and determination – clear. Maybe all it takes to inspire someone important is the bravery and boldness of youth.
What do you think of Dante's boldness – and how do you encourage your own kids to go after what they wish for? Leave a comment.