CHICAGO Procter & Gamble’s Old Spice brand is looking to battle steroid use through a grassroots education campaign created in partnership with sports legend Dick Butkus and his son, Matt.
The goal of the I Play Clean campaign is to secure as many pledges against steroid use as possible from students, coaches and parents across the nation.
I Play Clean and Old Spice have partnered to extend the educational campaign both online at www.IPlayClean.org and in about 71 percent of high schools nationwide to give teachers, coaches, parents and students information about the realities and dangers of steroid use.
To kick off the campaign, I Play Clean and Old Spice will host a rally at Chicago’s Soldier Field on Friday. Several professional athletes such as Cincinnati Bengals legend and Pro Football Hall of Fame member Anthony Munoz and Defensive Player of the Year and NFL Man of the Year Jason Taylor are expected to join the rally either in person or through video message.
The launch event is being following by a program rollout online now and in schools across the country beginning in the fall as students head back to school.
“We created this campaign after hearing a tragic story from a father of a Texas teen who lost his life to steroid abuse. It’s time that all athletes, former athletes, parents, coaches and fans unite to spread the word to high school teens that playing clean is the smart choice,” stated Hall of Fame linebacker Butkus. “Our partnership with Old Spice is crucial because it helps us to achieve the most important goal of our campaign, reaching students online, in classrooms and in locker rooms, and educating them about alternatives to high-risk steroids. Teaming up with Old Spice, we are working to create a positive campaign that mobilizes everyone to help teens make the better choice of training hard, eating well and playing with attitude.”
According to a survey commissioned by Old Spice, 84 percent of students say they have never received formal information about the dangers of steroids to their health and their chances of playing at the next level. The survey also found that 26 percent of students have heard about someone, either at their school or another high school, who has used steroids. That equates to about 4.5 million students nationwide.
Research has also found that as many as 500,000 high school students in the United States report to have used a performance-enhancing steroid.