Sports might be shut down, but Boston athletes are staying connected with their fans

"For people watching this, celebrities use your platforms to inspire people to come together."

As the serious concern over the COVID-19 pandemic continues, and states like Massachusetts have begun instituting social distancing restrictions, many well known celebrities are using their social media platforms to engage with fans at home in an uplifting way.

This includes athletes, who typically would be competing and training during the month of March but cannot as sporting events have been suspended. While the sports community is currently on “Day 12 without sports”, Boston athletes are taking advantage of Twitter, Tik Tok, and Instagram to connect with people virtually and offer them words of encouragement, glimpses into their lives and homes, and entertainment through viral challenges.

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Here’s how they are staying connected:

Jaylen Brown is spreading positive messages, urging people to support each other

In an interview with Revolt TV, the Celtics’ forward said that he’s keeping busy by making daily to-do lists, creating a vision board, reading books, and even taking piano lessons. While he’s supporting his family through these times, he also wants to support others as well.

“My ask of for people who watch this to come together, lean on your neighbors, extend your arms out to help people in need instead of everybody being a man for themselves because that’s going to cause more chaos, more drama, more violence,” he said. “The way America is set up – our healthcare, our economic system – there’s going to be a lot of people without a check, that lost revenue, lost income [and] they got mouths to feed. What do you tell them?…For people watching this, celebrities use your platforms to inspire people to come together, extend your arms if you have the means to do it. ”

Ray Allen checked in with fans and offering his moral support

Former Celtics’ shooting guard Ray Allen took time on his Instagram to speak to fans directly and give words of encouragement,

“What’s up everybody,” Allen said via his Instagram story on Monday. “I’ve been watching TV all morning, on and off, I had to turn the channel and I think golf was on or something. It’s almost like you want the TV to be on and you kind of just want to be numb, hear it in the background, you don’t really have to pay attention to it because it can be depressing. A lot of us, we’ve been dealing with stuff over the last couple of weeks, and I wanted to say whats up to everybody. I hope everybody is doing well out there, let you know I was thinking about you guys – everybody. It’s not just a black or white issue, American issue [or] a tall-person issue, it’s an everybody issue. We’re all affected.”

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“I just wanted to check in on everybody, say I was thinking about everybody all across the world. Whether you look like me or you don’t, I know everybody is suffering in some way or another. For the most part, we get to be here, for some of us, we get to live another day. That’s all we ask for right now in this moment. I just wanted to tell you guys I’m hoping and praying for everybody, stay safe and stay healthy.”

Tacko Fall gave fans a glimpse at his daily life

In part 1 of his Tik-Tok series, Celtics’ center Tacko Falls reveals how he navigates life at 7-foot-5. He shows how he takes a shower (Fall stands above his own shower head), how he easily puts boxes on the top shelf (“Comes in handy!”), has to duck under doorways and how he drives his truck.

“Me driving a car, is like you driving a go-kart,” he said to the camera.

Grant Williams let fans ask him personal questions on Twitter 

Using the hashtag #GrillGrant, the Celtics rookie gave fans the opportunity to ask him questions, also known as Ask Me Anything (AMA).  Williams revealed his desire to read comics, his favorite “old” music, which teammate he would take with him to survive a Zombie apocalypse, among other things.

Check them out:

Julian Edelman and Chase Winovich took part in a Nerf gun challenge

In a paid advertisement with Nerf, Patriots’ wide receiver Julian Edelman participated in the #NerfHouseChallenge – where he recorded himself, from his house, firing nerf pellets.

“Hi, I’m Julian Edelman and I’m here at my house, where you should be, being safe,” he said to the camera while his daughter poured what appears to be hand sanitizer into his hands. “I’ve been on my couch, I’ve seen all this content on every platform possible – no sports, video games.

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“Then I started surfing social media and I’ve seen everyone – mother, father, brother sister – creating a challenge. So only natural I thought I’d create my own, and I did: it’s called The Nerf House Challenge with a Delta Trooper Blaster.”

 

He then nominated Browns’ quarterback Baker Mayfield and Patriots’ defensive end Chase Winovich, who posted his own video of the challenge and encouraged Patriots fans to try it.

Stephon Gilmore and the McCourty twins shared what it’s like being with their children at home

Bruins’ Zdeno Chara joined in on the trendy social media challenges

On Monday, Chara participated in the challenges that are going viral on social media. In the  #OldPictureChallenge, he shared a picture of himself in a New York Islanders jersey, and in the #10Up10Down challenge, he posted a video doing ten-consecutive pushups.

He then nominated other athletes such as former Bruins’ defensemen Andrew Ference to take part.

Red Sox’ J.D. Martinez also participated in the #10Up10Down pushup challenge, opting to do his set on a boat. He nominated other MLB players, including Mookie Betts.

 

David Ortiz gave his son – and those watching – some batting techniques while on Instagram live

In an Instagram live video he streamed on Monday, the former Red Sox slugger appeared with his son, D’Angelo, who goes to IMG Academy, as the two practiced batting techniques.

“Trying to teach this youngster how it’s done, he says he wants to be a badass, we’ll see,” Ortiz said with a laugh.

“Why did you move your hands, like, because you started off more to the side and then you moved to on top?” D’Angelo later asked him in the video.

“That was part of my timing,” his father responded. “This is what I wanted to line up: head, hip and my back leg.”

Ortiz also gave a message to those watching the video: Stay at home.

“Get things done, you know what I’m saying. I was, now I want him to be. All of you that are watching this, remember: stay at home with your family, let’s kill this virus man. Let’s keep it tight. Make sure you wash your hands, make sure you do whatever it takes. Remember: my life depends on yours, yours depends on me. Let’s keep it tight people, no joke.”

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