'We Are Not Playing': Chicago's teams join mayor to help stop spread of coronavirus

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Chicago Mayor-Elect Lori Lightfoot throws out the first pitch at the White Sox home opener last season at Guaranteed Rate Field.

    Chicago Mayor-Elect Lori Lightfoot throws out the first pitch at the White Sox home opener last season at Guaranteed Rate Field. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Lori Lightfoot celebrates after throwing a ceremonial first pitch April 8, 2019, at Wrigley Field.

    Lori Lightfoot celebrates after throwing a ceremonial first pitch April 8, 2019, at Wrigley Field. Daily Herald File Photo

 
 
Updated 4/6/2020 2:58 PM

Speaking on reducing the spread of COVID-19 at an empty Soldier Field Monday, Chicago Mayor Lightfoot offered some hope.

"We see a tiny pinprick of light at the end of the tunnel," Lightfoot said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

In attempt to let in more needed light, Lightfoot announced a new campaign, "We Are Not Playing."

The initiative is a partnership with Chicago's eight professional sports teams -- the Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs, Fire, Red Stars, Sky and White Sox.

The statewide stay-at-home order has been mostly successful and Lightfoot wants to increase the effectiveness with the help of some of Chicago sports.

"I am grateful to each of our hometown teams for stepping up and doing their part by joining in this call for every neighborhood and community," Lightfoot said. "They're not playing, and neither are we. The more we stay home and act responsibly the more lives we'll save, and the sooner we'll be able to get our city back on track and enjoying the games we love.

"We all have a role to play in meeting the challenge of COVID-19, and our success is directly tied to every Chicagoan making sure they stay home and save lives."

"We Are Not Playing" is an integrated initiative that is kicking off with digital and out-of-home billboards around Chicago before moving online and to social media.

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"Normally, this is one of those sweet times of the year when we're enjoying White Sox games and Cubs games and Blackhawks games and Bulls games and Fire games," Bears chairman George H. McCaskey said. "Of course, the situation our city and our world are in right now is anything but normal. We've all got to do what we can to get through this.

"That means following the Mayor's directive and staying home. We owe it to our families, our friends, our neighbors and all of the medical personnel who are working so hard and so selflessly dealing with this crisis."

The Hawks' Jonathan Toews, the Cubs' Jason Heyward, the White Sox's Lucas Giolito and Eloy Jimenez and the Bulls' Coby White are some of the Chicago athletes helping spread the campaign's message with online videos.

"Sports has always served as a great example of achieving a common goal and overcoming the odds," Cubs executive chairman Tom Ricketts said. "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.

"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."

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