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Sports Leagues Come Together To Recognize Health Care Workers

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 participating in a project to recognize and celebrate health care workers for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.

Costa Rica v United States
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 10: Carli Lloyd #10 of the U.S. woman's national soccer team walks on the field prior to the game against the Costa Rica woman's national soccer team at TIAA Bank Field on November 10,2019 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

"The Real Heroes Project" is a collaboration involving 15 leagues, including Major League Baseball, the NFL, NBA, NHL, and Major League Soccer.

Beginning Monday, participating athletes will share a personal thank-you message on social media using #TheRealHeroes. Throughout the public service announcements and personal tributes, athletes will cover their own names on their jerseys or uniforms and replace it with the name of the health care worker they are honoring.

PSAs 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.

Roman Reigns (R) fights against Baron Corbin during the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Crown Jewel pay-per-view in Riyadh on October 31, 2019. (Photo by Fayez Nureldine / AFP) (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images)

Other athletes participating include 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" Hernández, Toronto FC forward Jozy Altidore and Orlando City SC forward Nani (MLS).

NASCAR Cup Series 62nd Annual Daytona 500 - Media Day
DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 12: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M's Toyota, speaks with the media during the NASCAR Cup Series 62nd Annual Daytona 500 Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 12, 2020 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

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, also are participating.

The leagues teamed up with creative agency 72andSunny and production company Hecho Studios for the campaign.

© 2020 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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