New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky and U.S. women’s soccer star Carli Lloyd are among the athletes who are participating in a project which will recognize and celebrate health care workers for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Real Heroes Project” was announced on Monday. It is a collaborative initiative among 15 leagues, including Major League Baseball, the National Football League, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League and Major League Soccer.
Participating athletes will share a personal thank you message on social media utilizing #TheRealHeroes from Monday. Athletes will cover their name on their jerseys or uniforms and replace it with the name of the health care worker they are honouring.
Public service announcements will debut on Wednesday across league and team platforms. The other leagues participating are the ATP, NASCAR, NWSL, USGA, WNBA, WTA as well as the WWE and esports Overwatch League, Call of Duty League and Electronic Arts.
Among other athletes participating are New York Yankees all-star outfielder Aaron Judge and Milwaukee Brewers slugger Christian Yelich (MLB), Utah Jazz point guard Donovan Mitchell (NBA), Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (NFL), Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews and Hockey Hall of Famer Hayley Wickenheiser (NHL) as well as Los Angeles Galaxy forward Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, Toronto FC forward Jozy Altidore, and Orlando City SC forward Nani (MLS).
Two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch, U.S. soccer standout Alex Morgan, two-time WNBA all-star Breanna Stewart and Ashleigh Barty, the world’s top-ranked women’s tennis player, are also included. The leagues teamed up with creative agency 72andSunny and production company Hecho Studios for the campaign.