June 6, 2017 - Major League Lacrosse (MLL) - Atlanta Blaze
BOSTON - Major League Lacrosse (MLL), the premier outdoor professional lacrosse league, announced today that the Atlanta Blaze have won the inaugural Real Men Wear Pink Team of the Year and Blaze longstick midfielder Scott Ratliff is the Real Man of the Year. The Blaze combined to raise $9,319 as a team for the American Cancer Society's fight for a world without cancer, while Ratliff, an Atlanta native, raised $8,121.
"It is an honor to name Scott Ratliff and his teammates the winners of the Real Men Wear Pink Challenge," MLL Commissioner David Gross said. "Scott has been a tremendous ambassador for the league throughout his five-year career and has dedicated himself to numerous causes off the field. His work for the community in Atlanta has been tremendous and we are extremely proud to have him in our lacrosse family."
The Denver Outlaws finished just behind Atlanta in the team standings with $8,996 and Outlaws' midfielder Drew Snider came in second place to Ratliff for the Real Man of the Year, raising $7,198. The league as a whole has raised over $30,000 and that number will continue to grow throughout the season.
Ratliff's teammate, Anthony Kelly, raised $1,198 towards Atlanta's total. His mother, Linda Kelly, is a breast cancer survivor and the inspiration for Kelly to step up as a captain for the Real Men Wear Pink Challenge. Ratliff and the Blaze will be honored by MLL in a ceremony at the end of the season.
In the MLL Pink Challenge, fans could pick their favorite player and pledge for every goal, save, groundball or point they recorded in the month of May. Ratliff finished the month with three points, scoring two goals and adding an assist.
The American Cancer Society became the first official league-wide charity of choice this season. The long-term partnership began last month with the MLL Pink Challenge, a variation of the American Cancer Society's national fundraising program, Real Men Wear Pink.
The traditional Real Men Wear Pink program was created by the American Cancer Society to give men a greater presence in the fight against breast cancer. The campaign takes place in over 200 communities, mostly during the month of October. Real Men Wear Pink features a group of dedicated and distinguished community leaders who are determined to help save lives from breast cancer by committing to raise awareness and funds.