The powerful advertisement honors Black women's success and impact in sports like basketball, soccer, tennis and more

By Eric Todisco
March 08, 2021 12:26 PM
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Nike is honoring some of the most successful and inspiring Black female athletes in a powerful new advertisement.

On Sunday — one day ahead of International Women's Day — Nike released a new clip titled "We Play Real," which celebrates Black women's success and impact in sports like basketball, soccer, tennis, and more.

The video, narrated by actress and playwright Dominique Fishback, includes appearances from A'ja Wilson, Jewell Loyd, Serena Williams, Crystal Dunn, Sydney Leroux, Naomi Osaka, Caster Semenya, Natasha Cloud, Diamond DeShields, Simone Manuel, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Sheryl Swoopes, and Sha'Carri Richardson.

"It's not magic," Fishback, 29, begins her narration. "Yeah, we can make things float. Make something appear out of absolutely nothing. But even the greatest magicians worked at that trick. It's not magic, organic."

She continues, "From the curl in our hair to the tip of our toes. The sway of our hips and the joy of our smile. We give our blood, sweat and tears to give our very best. Even when the world tells us it's never going to be enough."

"We got that thing," Fishback says. "That hooping, soccer-playing, game-changing, oh so resilient double-A outing, butterfly-stroking thing. We worked for all of this. You thought history just made itself? Nah baby, this ain't magic. This, this is the real thing."

We Play Real
We Play Real campaign
| Credit: Courtesy Nike
We Play Real
We Play Real campaign
| Credit: Courtesy Nike

Nike is also launching a new social campaign, in which NBA athletes will use their social media platforms to uplift and support Black women that have impacted sports, society and culture. These women will post their success stories for others to be inspired by.

Each of the women involved in the campaign is paired with an NBA star. The pairs are: Wilson (Las Vegas Aces) and LeBron James, Shelly Bell (Black Girl Ventures Founder and CEO) and Kevin Durant, Lloyd (Seattle Storm) and Kyrie Irving, DeShields (Chicago Sky) and Anthony Davis, Kayla McBride (Minnesota Lynx) and Paul George, and Cloud (Washington Mystics) and Draymond Green.

In addition, as part of Nike, Converse, Jordan and Michael Jordan's combined $140 million investment in addressing racial inequality, Nike is investing $500,000 in Black Girl Ventures, a non-profit dedicated to providing Black and brown woman-identifying founders with access to community, capital and capacity building to support entrepreneurship.