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Sox, Cubs, mayor team to slow coronavirus

Hometown teams join Lightfoot to remind residents to take simple precautions
@scottmerkin
April 6, 2020

CHICAGO -- The Cubs and the White Sox are two of eight Chicago sports teams taking part in Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s groundbreaking campaign, “We Are Not Playing,” to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. Joining Chicago’s two professional baseball teams in this initiative are the Bears (NFL),

CHICAGO -- The Cubs and the White Sox are two of eight Chicago sports teams taking part in Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s groundbreaking campaign, “We Are Not Playing,” to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

Joining Chicago’s two professional baseball teams in this initiative are the Bears (NFL), Blackhawks (NHL), Bulls (NBA), Fire (MLS), Red Stars (NWSL) and Sky (WNBA). Lightfoot made the announcement Monday at an empty Soldier Field, home of the Bears.

The intent is for the influence of the teams and their players to drive compliance with the statewide “stay at home” order and encourage residents to keep themselves and their neighbors safe from the spread of COVID-19 by staying home.

“Sports has always served as a great example of achieving a common goal and overcoming the odds. As we battle the biggest public health crisis facing our generation, the Chicago Cubs are happy to join the Chicago sports community in encouraging Chicago residents to work together as a team to fight this pandemic,” Cubs executive chairman Tom Ricketts said in a news release Monday announcing the initiative.

“If we can all do our part to follow public health guidelines to stay at home, we can slow or stop the spread of this disease. Stay inside so that we can come together and watch baseball soon.”

White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson tweeted out “Don’t Play!!” with the “We Are Not Playing” image from his Twitter account Monday. White Sox left fielder Eloy Jiménez, pitcher Lucas Giolito and television voice Jason Benetti put forth “We Are Not Playing” spots tweeted from the team's Twitter account. Cubs catcher Willson Contreras showed the same social media support.

“The City of Chicago is home to the very best sports fans in the world. For every sports team in Chicago, our fans have been there for us, in both good times and bad,” White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said in the release. “The teams receive so much support from our fans that it is our responsibility to give back whenever and however we can.

“When Mayor Lightfoot invited us to participate in the ‘We Are Not Playing’ campaign, the answer was easy. It is an honor for us to support the mayor’s campaign, reinforcing the critical importance of social distancing and staying home. Just as our fans help make the difference for our teams at home, we all can make a difference in this fight.

“Our actions right now can save lives. Baseball and basketball will resume one day, and our lives will return to some type of normal, but until then, every person in Chicago has a role to play to help this city win.”

The ”We Are Not Playing” campaign builds on the recently launched “Stay Home. Save Lives” messaging spearheaded by Lightfoot.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.