“Black women are rarely recognized for the hard work they put in. It’s not just magic, they are the real thing.”
I don’t think Nike could’ve put it any better.
We all know sports help to bring us together. They also provide a platform to amplify important causes and draw attention to concerns within our community. In recent months, we’ve seen this firsthand with Naomi Osaka wearing masks to honor Breonna Taylor and other victims of police violence, or in the WNBA, where the entire league rallied to get rid of former Atlanta Dream co-owner Kelly Loeffler.
Simply put: Black women make the world better. So in its efforts to celebrate their contributions and tremendous importance during Women’s History Month, Nike is launching a social campaign to elevate Black women’s voices; dropping a new film, We Play Real; and hosting a pitch competition in conjunction with Black Girl Ventures.
For the social media campaign, NBA athletes will use their Instagram accounts to uplift and support Black women doing the damn thing throughout sports, society and culture. These women will share their success stories, provide us with the insight they’ve gained throughout their journies, and ask viewers for their help in accomplishing their goals moving forward.
Here’s who some of these amazing women will be paired with:
- A’ja Wilson (Las Vegas Aces) x LeBron James (LA Lakers)
- Shelly Bell (Black Girl Ventures Founder and CEO) x Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets)
- Jewell Lloyd (Seattle Storm) x Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn Nets)
- Diamond DeShields (Chicago Sky) x Anthony Davis (LA Lakers)
- Kayla McBride (Minnesota Lynx) X Paul George (LA Clippers)
- Natasha Cloud (Washington Mystics) x Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors)
As far as the pitch competition, Nike, Converse, Brand Jordan, and Michael Jordan have pledged to invest a combined $140 million in order to address racial inequality. $500,000 of that money has been poured into Black Girl Ventures, which provides Black and Brown woman-identifying founders with access to community, capital, and capacity building that will allow them to thrive as entrepreneurs. Black Girl Ventures will be announcing the fine details on this pitch competition soon, so expect this to go down this spring.
And lastly, we have the film, We Play Real, which premiered on Sunday and features living legends like Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, Sydney Leroux, Sheryl Swoopes, and more.
Nike has big plans to deliver inspiring and empowering stories throughout 2021, and it’s dope to see Black women at the forefront of these efforts.