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Frontline Workers Honored as Sports Leagues Unite

Carli Lloyd and Aaron Judge among local athletes participating in The Real Heroes Project.

Fourteen professional sports leagues came together to honor frontline healthcare workers in the center of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The leagues and some star athletes dedicated their jerseys and uniforms to a special frontline healthcare worker who is helping their community through this global health crisis. The multi-league initiative, “The Real Heroes Project” began Wednesday, May 6. Leagues and athletes have come together in various ways using their charitable abilities, and The Real Heroes Project is yet another example of that commitment to community.

Athletes used social media to create personal thank you messages directed to their healthcare hero, using the hashtag, #TheRealHeroes. The athletes covered their names on their jerseys or uniforms and replaced them with the name of their frontline healthcare hero.

Among the athletes participating in this project and representing their league are Sky Blue FC and US Women’s National Team star, Carli Lloyd, New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge, and former University of Connecticut and current Seattle Storm star Breanna Stewart.

Participating leagues included the ATP, MLB, MLS, NASCAR, NBA, NFL, NHL, NWSL, USGA, WNBA, WTA, and WWE, among others.

Featured leagues and athletes include:

  • Activision Blizzard Esports – Esports athletes Seth “Scump” Abner of Call of Duty League, Li “Liooon” Xiaomeng of Hearthstone Esports, and Matthew “Super” DeLisi of Overwatch League
  • Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) – Professional doubles tennis players, and most successful duo of all time, Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan
  • Electronic Arts (EA) – Reigning FIFA eWorld Cup Champion Mohammed “MoAuba” Harkous, 2018 FIFA eWorld Cup Champion Mosaad “Msdossary” Aldossary, Madden NFL 19 Bowl Champion Drini “Drini” Gjoka, Madden NFL 18 Bowl Champion Seamus “Young Kiv” Kivlen, and professional Apex Legends competitors Eric “Snip3down” Wrona and Bowen “Monsoon” Fuller ( #StayandPlay)
  • Major League Baseball (MLB) – New York Yankees All-Star outfielder Aaron Judge and Milwaukee Brewers All-Star outfielder Christian Yelich
  • Major League Soccer (MLS) – Los Angeles Galaxy forward Javier “Chicharito” Hernández, Toronto FC and U.S. Men’s National Team forward Jozy Altidore, and Orlando City SC forward Nani (#MLSUnites)
  • NASCAR – Two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion and Joe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch and 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion and Stewart-Haas Racing driver Kevin Harvick
  • National Basketball Association (NBA) – 2020 NBA All-Star and Utah Jazz point guard Donovan Mitchell (#NBATogether)
  • National Football League (NFL) – New Orleans Saints All-Pro quarterback Drew Brees, Arizona Cardinals All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and San Francisco 49ers All-Pro tight end George Kittle
  • National Hockey League (NHL) – NHL Legend Wayne Gretzky, Chicago Blackhawks Captain Jonathan Toews and Toronto Maple Leafs Assistant Director of Player Development and former Canadian Women’s ice hockey Gold Medalist Hayley Wickenheiser
  • National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) – United States Women’s National Soccer Team and Sky Blue FC forward Carli Lloyd and United States Women’s National Soccer Team and Orlando Pride striker Alex Morgan
  • United States Golf Association (USGA)Jordan Spieth, three-time USGA Champion (2015 U.S. Open and 2 U.S. Junior Amateurs), and Lydia Ko, winner of the 2012 U.S. Women’s Amateur and youngest number-1 ranked player of all-time
  • Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) – Four-time WNBA All-Star guard Skylar Diggins-Smith of the Phoenix Mercury and two-time WNBA All-Star and 2018 WNBA MVP forward Breanna Stewart of the Seattle Storm (#WNBATogether )
  • Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) – American teenage sensation who won her first three WTA titles and broke into the Top 50 at just 15 years old, Coco Gauff; Champion of the 2018 U.S. Open followed by 2019 Australian Open, Naomi Osaka from Japan; highest-ranked Canadian in the history of the WTA and 2019 US Open Champion, Bianca Andreescu; WTA World No.1 and 2019 Roland Garros Champion from Australia, Ashleigh Barty; and former WTA World No.1 from Belarus with 20 WTA career singles titles, Victoria Azarenka
  • World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) – WWE Superstars John Cena, Triple H and Charlotte Flair

Sports fans are encouraged to join the athletes on social media and dedicate their personal jerseys and team apparel to a frontline individual using the hashtag, #TheRealHeroes.

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