U.S. Women's National Team soccer star Megan Rapinoe narrates an ad from Nike's latest campaign, entitled "You Can't Stop Us" that explores issues of race, gender and equality.
The ad contains a split screen that blends movement from 36 different pairings of athletes, including Colin Kaepernick, LeBron James, Naomi Osaka, Cristiano Ronaldo, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Serena Williams and Rapinoe.
The ad intends to draw common links between athletes of various ethnic backgrounds and genders and focuses on the return of sports amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
OL Reign forward Megan Rapinoe is among the players to opt out of the NWSL Challenge Cup. (Photo: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
"Players may be back on the pitch, but we are not going back to an old normal," Rapinoe said Thursday in a statement released through Nike. "We need to continue to reimagine this world and make it better. We have all these people in the streets, using their voices, and those voices are being heard. I ask people to be energized by this moment and not let up. I believe it’s everybody’s responsibility to advocate for change."
The ad will debut Thursday, during the NBA's tipoff of its restarted season in Orlando.
The spot also explores the effect the pandemic has had on the entire sporting community, with shots of empty stadiums and workers in protective gear sanitizing seats. It also shows athletes wearing face masks while in uniform.
"We're never alone," Rapinoe says to open the ad. "And that is our strength. Because when we're doubted, we'll play as one."
Nike said it researched 4,000 pieces of footage to splice the series of side-by-side shots together. In all, 24 different sports are featured and 53 different athletes appear in the ad.
This is the latest in a series of campaigns for the company that have addressed issues inequities in sports. In Feb. 2019, Serena Williams was the face of the "Dream Crazier" ad that sought to empower female athletes.
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