Many well-known professional athletes are using their platforms in order to raise money and awareness for COVID-19 relief. Hockey legend Hayley Wickenheiser has asked her many followers for masks and other critical medical personal protective equipment for health workers combating the coronavirus crisis. The response was instantaneous and many continue to contribute.
The sport agency Octagon has launched a fundraising campaign, Athletes for Relief, to allow all athletes to support preparedness, containment, response and recovery activities for those affected and for the responders. This camapign entices fans to donate a minimum of $25 for a chance to win a signed item from their favourite athlete. Well-known Olympic swimmer Micheal Phelps is one of the many athletes who has joined this campaign.
Professional athletes are seen as role models in their sporting community and, therefore, have large platforms. In a study of the role celebrity athletes as social movement entrepreneurs (in run-for-peace events in post-conflict Kenya), similar circumstances were observed. Their findings showed how celebrity athletes are extremely well-positioned to lead peace-promoting activities. Current and former elite Kenyan runners involved in the Run-for-Peace efforts were able to utilize resources and take advantage of their influential power. In the current pandemic, multiple athletes are utilizing their social media platforms as a ressource to promote awareness for the better of the society.