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DICK’S Sporting Goods and Women’s National Basketball Players Association Announce Partnership in Support of Wear Orange Campaign and Gun Violence Prevention

June 2, 2021

DICK’S Sporting Goods, in Partnership with the WNBA Players Association, Will Sell “The W Wears Orange” T-Shirts Online and in Approximately 120 Stores in Support of Wear Orange

Now in Its 7th Year, Wear Orange Campaign Brings Together Hundreds of Thousands of Activists, Athletes, Artists, Businesses and Everyday Americans to Demand an End to Gun Violence

NEW YORK – DICK’S Sporting Goods and the WNBA Players Association (WNBPA) today announced a new partnership in support of the 7th annual Wear Orange campaign, a nationwide movement demanding an end to gun violence. Beginning this week and through Wear Orange Weekend (June 4 – 6), DICK’S Sporting Goods will sell online and in more than 120 stores t-shirts developed in partnership with the WNBPA and Wear Orange campaign. The t-shirts, viewable here, are orange with the phrase, “The W Wears Orange.”

Wear Orange Weekend begins on National Gun Violence Awareness Day, annually observed on the first Friday in June, and continues with grassroots events throughout the weekend. The campaign is dedicated to honoring the lives of those affected by gun violence and elevating the voices demanding an end to the crisis. Wear Orange originated on June 2, 2015, when teenagers in Chicago wore orange to honor their friend, Hadiya Pendleton, who was shot and killed. June 2, 2015 would have been Hadiya’s 18th birthday. Today, Wear Orange honors Hadiya and the more than 100 Americans shot and killed every day, as well as the hundreds more who are wounded.

“Wear Orange is a reminder of the role we can all play in advocating for change,” said Lauren Hobart, President and CEO of DICK’S Sporting Goods. “We’re proud to partner with the WNBA Players Association and offer this t-shirt for those who want to join us and support the Wear Orange campaign to help reduce gun violence in America.”

This partnership marks a new level of engagement for both the WNBPA and DICK’S Sporting Goods, both of which have been a part of the Wear Orange campaign in past years as well. DICK’S Sporting Goods is well-known for its commitment to gun violence prevention, having ended sales of assault-style rifles and high-capacity magazines in its stores. In addition to these policies, the retailer also requires any gun buyer to be at least 21 years of age. 

The WNBPA and individual players have been steadfast partners to Wear Orange and the gun violence prevention movement. Players like Natasha Cloud and Devereaux Peters (ret.) have led their fellow players and individual teams, like the Washington Mystics, into participating in the campaign for now the third year in a row, while also amplifying the movement via participation in PSAs, on panels and on their social media platforms.

“Every single day, we witness how gun violence takes lives and leaves a lasting legacy of trauma in American families,” said Terri Jackson, executive director of the WNBA Players Association. “I’m so proud of how WNBA players have defined their social advocacy agenda to focus on public health, along with other issues like racial and lqbtq+ equality, that impact our communities so directly. Their leadership role helps get the message of common sense gun reform to even more Americans and will help save lives.”

In 2021, the Wear Orange campaign expanded its engagement with the WNBA, launching the 2021 Wear Orange Weekend with a virtual event with the Washington Mystics featuring the Mystics’ Natasha Cloud, Everytown President John Feinblatt, Rep. Lucy McBath (GA-06) and gun violence survivors. The Washington Mystics filmed a video in support of Wear Orange, which aired in advance of an upcoming game. Players also wore “The W Wears Orange” t-shirts during a nationally televised game.

“American businesses are a bellwether of public opinion, so it should come as no surprise that more and more of them are listening to their customers and stepping up to address our nation’s gun violence crisis,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Thanks to DICK’S Sporting Goods and the WNBA Players Association, countless Americans will be introduced to the Wear Orange campaign and join the gun safety movement, which is growing bigger and stronger by the day.”

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