The WNBA debuted a player-led vaccine-related Public Service Announcement on Thursday supporting the health of Black women and girls.
In the PSA, players bring awareness to health inequities and the disproportionate rates at which COVID-19 has impacted communities of color, specifically Black women and girls.
“Black patients are twice as likely to die of COVID-19 because of underlying conditions,” the players say in the video. “And the most effected are Black women.”
The players go on to say that while the vaccine is now available, 41% of Black women still say they are going to “wait and see” before receiving the vaccine.
They then urge viewers to learn more about the vaccine from the CDC and to get the vaccine sooner than later in order to protect themselves and their communities.
The PSA aired on ESPN during the WNBA Draft 2021 presented by State Farm ® and featured New York Liberty guard Layshia Clarendon, Los Angeles Sparks forward Nneka Ogqumike, Atlanta Dream center Elizabeth Williams, and Las Vegas Aces forward A’ja Wilson.
The PSA was created with the WNBA/WNPBA Social Justice Council, which was founded after the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd last year. The council will be focusing on health equity and mental health awareness throughout the 2021 season.
The WNBA also announced it has partnered with the WNPBA to donate $25,000 to the Black Women’s Health Imperative, an organization which aims to better the health and wellness of Black women and girls through research, education programs, and outreach.
The PSA and donation are part of the WNBA’s “Count It” campaign for the 2021 season, for which the WNBA and WNBPA will highlight the organization’s history addressing societal issues.
The “Count It” campaign will be led by the WNBA/WNBPA Social Justice Council, which gives players opportunities to lead community-based initiatives combatting racism and gender inequality, as well as advocating for LGBTQ+ rights.