Toronto sports figures from Mitch Marner to Michael Bradley have joined forces with Mayor John Tory in a video urging people to "come together by staying home" during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 81-second Team Toronto video is a collaboration between the city and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, whose team presidents partnered with the Blue Jays to create the Team Toronto fund to assist arena/stadium and support staff during the ongoing sports shutdown.
While asking Torontonians to stay at home during the pandemic so as to avoid spreading the virus, the emotional video also pays tribute to frontline health-care workers.
Tory provides the soundtrack, with interspersed comments from Raptors coach Nick Nurse, Argos GM Michael (Pinball) Clemons, former hockey star and Leafs assistant director of player development Hayley Wickenheiser and Blue Jays infielder Cavan Biggio as well as the Leafs' Marner and Toronto FC's Bradley.
"In a time when a lot of us are scared, it's important to remember who we are," says Tory after a dramatic opening series of shots of Toronto landmarks like City Hall and the Princes' Gates deserted during the pandemic.
The video then speeds up to show clips of Toronto sports fans celebrating and party-like cultural events such as the Toronto Caribbean Carnival and the Pride Parade — both cancelled this year — before returning to the present day with Tory and others urging Torontonians to stay at home.
"So that one day, one day when this is all over, we can come together again," says Tory.
"And bring our celebrations to the next level," adds Biggio as the video shows clips of sports and other celebrations.
"Tough times don't last, tough people do," Marner says over a montage that includes a shot of a bloodied Fred VanVleet of the Raptors.
"We are Team Toronto ... Overcoming is what we do," Tory says by way of wrapup.
The video, which was trending in Toronto on Twitter soon after its release, was produced by MLSE's marketing creative team.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 9, 2020.
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