Professional athletes from the NFL, NHL, NBA, the Women’s Tennis Association and many other sports leagues launched the Real Heroes Project on National Nurses on Wednesday. The project focuses on honoring front line medical workers such as doctors and EMTs during the coronavirus pandemic. This week, professional athletes are posting pictures on social media dedicating their jerseys to a health care worker. 

Athletes, such as basketball player for the Utah Jazz Donovan Mitchell are shown taping the name of a healthcare worker over their own name on their jersey, using the hashtag, “the real heroes.” 

In a two-minute PSA that was created to document the efforts, more than a dozen athletes are featured showing their support. Some of these athletes included New Orleans Saints Quarterback, Drew Brees and Women’s World Cup winner Carli Lloyd. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the video was produced remotely and was comprised of footage that the athletes filmed themselves. In the background is Beyonce’s song “Halo” and at the end of the video the text that reads, “The world of sports thanks you for reminding us what it means to be great. Thank a hero of your own #TheRealHeroes.” 

Most of the athletes in the video are honoring someone that they know personally. George Kittle, All-Pro tight end for the San Francisco 49ers, honored his friend from high school and college, Kari Mueller, a registered nurse at Advocate Aurora Health in Milwaukee. “I can’t imagine everything they are seeing day in and day out, and how stressful life must be for them,” Kittle told AdWeek. “I hope that all of the people that are risking their lives every day to protect and treat those in need know how much we admire and look up to them. And I hope this is a small way to show how much all of us care and appreciate everything they’re doing.”

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