GLENDALE, Ariz. — With the hardships of the coronavirus pandemic, National Nurses Day is taking on an even stronger meaning this year as Americans and people around the world work to recognize those on the frontlines working to help and protect others.
DeAndre Hopkins of the Arizona Cardinals and Skylar Diggins-Smith of the Phoenix Mercury participated in a project aimed at spotlighting healthcare workers in the community for their efforts during the pandemic.
"The Real Hero Project" had athletes from 14 different leagues put the name of a healthcare worker they wanted to recognize on the back of their jerseys.
Hopkins and Diggins-Smith joined many athletes in the project including Drew Brees, Aaron Judge, Wayne Gretzky, Alex Morgan and more.
Hopkins honored Tracy Thomas, an RN at Dignity Health's St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center and Diggins-Smith honored Nichole Freeman, also a nurse in Phoenix working on the frontlines to care for coronavirus patients.
Hopkins and Diggins-Smith placed the nurses' names on the back of their own jerseys, before thanking them for their service.
"I am incredibly humbled to be recognized by DeAndre Hopkins, the Arizona Cardinals and the NFL," Tracy Thomas told the Arizona Cardinals. "My goal as a nurse is to give my patients the best quality of life and seeing our patients make tremendous recoveries is one of the greatest victories of my life. It is my absolute honor and duty to serve and care for our patients at St. Joseph's. I'm incredibly grateful for this opportunity to represent all of St. Joseph's healthcare heroes."
Both Hopkins and Diggins-Smith were traded to the Cardinals and Mercury, respectively, this year.
You can watch the full project below: