The Los Angeles Sparks, in partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health), will host the second annual roundtable discussion with Los Angeles County Director of Public Health Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Sparks General Manager/Head Coach Derek Fisher, WNBPA President and 2016 MVP Nneka Ogwumike, and two-time All-Star and ESPN Analyst Chiney Ogwumike on Tuesday, September 7 at 5 p.m. PT. The event will be streamed live on the Sparks Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn accounts.
The roundtable will build off last season’s successful event with a focus on discussing the global coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19 vaccination efforts, WNBA social justice initiatives, and Public Health’s “live tobacco free” and “vape free” public education campaigns. This season, the WNBA and WNBPA announced that 99% of WNBA players have been fully vaccinated.
“The WNBA and our players continue to be leaders on issues of systemic racism and health inequality and so we’re proud to stand alongside Dr. Ferrer and Public Health to help spread key messaging in an effort to combat COVID-19,” Sparks Interim President and COO Natalie White said.
As part of the Sparks overall partnership with Public Health, the team recently wore Never Stop Quitting Smoking pre-game T-shirts on Aug. 19 at Staples Center. The consequences of vaping and smoking tobacco and nicotine disproportionately effect communities of color.
The Sparks and Public Health have a two-year partnership centered around tobacco and vape free lifestyle campaigns and community activism. In addition, the Sparks have worked alongside Public Health to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and advocate for people to wear masks, practice social distancing, and get vaccinated.
“As we cheer on the LA Sparks this season, we are grateful for the opportunity to partner with them to raise awareness on the devastating impact systemic racism has on health outcomes for many LA County residents,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “In addition to working to prevent transmission of COVID-19, we are focused on helping people quit smoking and vaping, especially among people who have been targeted for many years by the tobacco industry’s deceitful marketing practices. We want to encourage people to never stop quitting and remind them that it’s normal to try quitting many times before someone quits for good. It is possible to live a tobacco-free life, and quitting is one of the most important steps you can take to improve your health.”
The LA Sparks are currently celebrating their 25th season.