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This year’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition will expand its mission of inclusion to feature the Ladies of the WNBA.
Coming to newsstands on May 19, the new 2022 edition will highlight the Ladies of the WNBA, including soccer player Megan Rapinoe’s partner – Sue Bird of the Seattle Storm.
This is who we are; this is the makeup of our league,” Sue Bird said in the announcement.. “We represent a variety of things: of course women, women of color, members of the LGBTQIA2+ community, and much more.
“The [Swimsuit] issue for so many years has been iconic and has represented a lot for women. Now you are seeing an evolution in what that can mean and what that can look like, and I think the WNBA players being a part of that is what makes it special. There is no better group of women to showcase that evolution,” she added.
Bird later described herself as a “passionate athlete and basketball player” who is “becoming more educated and passionate about other things like discussing the inequalities and inequities in our lives – not just for athletes but for all women, all people of color.”
“It’s been pretty cool to grow up and see what speaks to me and that’s what more than an athlete means: everyone is more than what they do,” she added.
Seattle Storm forward Breanna Stewart, who recently welcomed a daughter with her wife, Marta Xargay, also said that the “WNBA has always been at the forefront of social issues.”
“And we continue to be leaders in this space because we always have fought for more—and we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon,” she said.
“I want to be the best role model I can for Ruby,” Stewart said of her daughter. “I want her to see the impact women play in society—in sports and outside of sports.”
The W is in the house! Ἴ The women of WNBA traded in their uniforms for swimsuits & made all our swishes come true. Sue Bird, Breanna Stewart, Nneka Ogwumike, Te’a Cooper & Didi Richards will be featured in our 2022 issue-hitting newsstands on May 19th. pic.twitter.com/09cutvJl5V
— Sports Illustrated Swimsuit (@SI_Swimsuit) May 9, 2022
This past January, Sports Illustrated said that brands that create change for women will soon be “certified as a Changemaker.”
“All brands who prove they are creating change for women will be certified as a Changemaker, which is defined as a brand who has made, is making and will make progress for women by May 2022 when the annual SI Swimsuit Issue hits stands. Each changemaking brand will then be able to purchase a space within the print edition, which will only feature adverts showcasing the progress each brand is making to build equity for all women,” the publication said.