On Thursday, May 19, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit is releasing its annual issue for 2022, and the publication will feature five WNBA superstars in this upcoming edition. Sue Bird, Te’a Cooper, Nneka Ogwumike, Didi Richards, and Breanna Stewart headed to the U.S. Virgin Islands and posed for Laretta Houston to make up this year’s “starting five.”
“The W is in the house!” said MJ Day, Editor-in-Chief of SI Swimsuit. “These players not only dominate on the court but are tirelessly leading the charge in speaking out on social justice issues- fighting for racial justice and equality and working together to create sustainable change.”
“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,” Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird shared. “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.”
“Their participation in this year’s issue couldn’t come at a better time with the launch of Pay With Change and the work that we are doing to evolve and grow our brand,” Day added in her statement. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to have such a badass group of women come together for this specific issue.”
Pay With Change, first announced this past January, noted various brands that are fighting for the progress of women and identified them as “Changemakers.” As a result, those specified organizations were able to purchase ad space in this year’s annual issue, and those spots were to showcase the strides they are making for the advancement of women. The ads would also be seen across SI Swimsuit‘s other digital platforms.
SI Swimsuit has dedicated a portion of every ad dollar generated by this issue to establish the Sports Illustrated Gender Equity Fund as well. The fund’s purpose will be to support a non-profit organization with the ultimate objective of an equitable future for all women.
“[I]n a world where women’s bodies are under attack and their value continuously underestimated, we knew we needed to act in a bold, more responsible way,” Day said when the initiative was first announced this past January. “Pay with Change is not just a platform to us, it is our commitment to creating greater progress for women.”
Read up on the five WNBA players showcased in this year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition, scheduled to ship on May 19, by clicking here.