Yahoo Sports and the Women’s Sports Foundation will host a first-of-its-kind live event titled #WeKeepPlaying that will bring together a group of iconic women in professional sports to help inspire young athletes during the COVID-19 crisis.
The group, including international activist Billie Jean King, basketball superstar Sabrina Ionescu and women’s soccer great Carli Lloyd, will share their own personal stories of resilience with viewers during the livestream on Saturday, exclusively on the Yahoo Sports app and site.
Who will be part of #WeKeepPlaying livestream?
The event will be moderated by journalist Cari Champion and consist of seven elite athletes as well as King and former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Rice was the first woman admitted to the Augusta National Golf Club in 2012.
Scout Bassett, 31, competed for Team USA in the 100m and long jump at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio. Bassett lost her right leg in a chemical fire as an infant and was abandoned in a government-run orphanage in China before being adopted in 1995. She is the 2013 recipient of the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Travel & Training Fund grant.
Sabrina Ionescu, 22, is the only 2K point-1K rebound-1K assist player in NCAA Division I history. The Oregon Ducks star took her team to the Final Four in 2019 for the first time in program history and was poised to make it to the title game this month before it was canceled. She’s won multiple awards for player of the year throughout her career and is the likely No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft on April 17.
Katie Ledecky, 23, is a six-time Olympic medalist with five combined golds at the 2016 Rio and 2012 London Olympics. At the age of 15, she was the youngest competitor for Team USA in 2012 and is now the most decorated female swimmer ever. Ledecky has 15 world championship gold medals and currently holds records in 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle.
Carli Lloyd, 37, is a two-time FIFA Player of the Year and back-to-back World Cup champion with the United States women’s national soccer team. The forward has won two Olympic gold medals in three trips. Lloyd has 113 goals and 52 assists in 281 appearances for the national team.
Chiney Ogwumike, 28, is a 6-foot-4 forward for the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks. She helped Stanford to three consecutive Final Fours and was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 draft. Ogwumike, who also works as an ESPN commentator, is 2012 FIBA 3x3 world champion.
Kendall Coyne Schofield, 27, is an Olympic gold and silver medalist for the U.S. women’s national hockey team and played for the NWHL’s Minnesota Whitecaps. The six-time world champion played on the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association tour and was the first woman to skate in the NHL skills competition.
Katie Sowers, 33, is an offensive assistant coach for the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers. She is the first female and the first openly gay coach in history to be on the sidelines for the Super Bowl. She was a member of the 2013 United States Women's National Football Team and played in the Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) for eight years.
When, how to watch #WeKeepPlaying
The live conversation will take place at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday. It’s airing exclusively on Yahoo Sports via the mobile app and YahooSports.com.
Viewers can submit questions beforehand by using #WeKeepPlaying on Twitter and Facebook.
Why is it important for #WeKeepPlaying to reach a large audience?
The event will be livestreamed on Yahoo Sports and promoted across Verizon Media’s global ecosystem.
“We play an important role in leveraging our platform for good along with connecting people to their passions — and we’re committed to doing just that across our ecosystem and creating experiences that resonate with our audience,” Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan said in a statement. “We know what a difficult time this is for athletes and when you have an opportunity to host an important dialogue with the greatest athletes of our times, we were all in. We hope this provides inspiration and hope to athletes around the world.”
What is the conversation about?
The elite athletes taking part in the event will speak about the importance of staying healthy mentally, physically and emotionally, especially during the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“During this challenging time of COVID-19, we know that young girls all across the country cannot participate in sports or live out their passions on the field, court, ice, pool or anywhere they play sports,” said King, founder of the Women’s Sports Foundation. “Our Foundation is the ally and advocate for all girls and women: we know her, we cheer for her, we believe in her, and we are here for her.”
The winter championship schedule for high school athletes around the country was cut short and the spring season barely got off the ground before the pandemic brought things to a halt. Young athletes have nowhere to work out, can’t participate in team activities and are not even able to go to school as the country tries to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Organizers are hoping that #WeKeepPlaying will inspire young athletes and their families to find ways of staying active.
“Yahoo Sports and the Women’s Sports Foundation have a proud history of collaborating,” Gowrappan said. “The idea for #WeKeepPlaying was a natural extension of this work and furthers the mission of both Verizon Media and the Women’s Sport Foundation to raise awareness about the importance of mental health during this time.”