More than 50 NFL players, past and present, contributed to a video made for the league’s social and digital outlets urging people to #StayHomeStayStrong during the coronavirus crisis.
The five-minute piece, made in partnership with 72andSunny Los Angeles, was posted to NFL’s social accounts, including Facebook and YouTube on Thursday. It comes in tandem with a $35 million combined donation from the NFL, the National Football League Players Association, individual teams, owners and players.
“It can be hard to find the good in a tough situation, but football is an amazing source of strength and hope,” said Glenn Cole, founder and creative chair of 72andSunny, in a statement. “When we asked players across the league to share how they’re living through this, it’s not surprising that the responses were uplifting, inspiring, and best of all, creative.”
Billed as a public service announcement, the video is narrated by Tony Gonzales, a former tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons and current broadcaster for Fox Sports.
His selfie videos are interspersed throughout the piece, creating a bridge between a cast of athletic stars that include ex New Engand Patriot Tom Brady; former quarterback Brett Favre; New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara; past New York Giant/current “Good Morning Ameria” host Michael Strahan; and Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr.
“There’s always a bright side, I believe, in everything…as long as we get together and stay strong we’ll get through it, no doubt about it,” says Gonzales in the video. He goes on to reveal that he plans to learn Spanish over the next 30-to-60 days, as the camera pans over his textbooks and flashcards.
Players are shown running around with their kids, posting TikTok dances, cooking and generally making the most of a bad situation.
Along with the PSA and donation, the NFL announced #NFLPLAY60 at home, challenging the rest of the country to put in 60 minutes of exercise a day with free digital wellness resources available for instruction or inspiration.
“We’re all living and navigating in our new reality, and must do our part by staying home,” Tim Ellis, marketing chief of the NFL, remarked in a statement. “NFL players and families remind us that in these difficult moments not only are we all in this together, we can all get stronger together.”
The NFL will take the opportunity of the NFL Draft April 23-25 to fundraise for those most significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The draft was to take place in Las Vegas, but with the town shut down, it is migrating to a remote production.
Some of the nonprofits that will benefit from the $35 million donation include Team Rubicon Disaster Response, the CDC Foundation and Meals on Wheels.