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Soccer Stars and Idris Elba Talk About Real Heroes in Ebola PSA

Alexandra Sifferlin | Time   in 
December 3, 2014

As part of a new Ebola campaign, the nonprofit arm of the CDC—the Centers for Disease Control Foundation—as well as soccer stars, celebrities and international health organizations created moving PSAs about Ebola to spread through West Africa.

The first video, “We’ve Got Your Back,” made by the newly formed Ebola education group Africa United, features well-known soccer players, many from or playing for African countries. “Our fans treat us like heroes, but I am no hero,” says Yaya Touré who plays for Manchester City. He’s followed by several other soccer players like Patrick Viera and Kei Kamara, all acknowledging they are not heroes. “The health workers fighting Ebola are the real heroes,” the video says, highlighting several West Africans fighting the Ebola virus. The players wear the health care workers’ names on the back of their jerseys, in hopes of spreading awareness that health care workers are heroes and should be treated as such.

Actor Idris Elba, perhaps best known for playing Stringer Bell on The Wire, stars in the second video, where he gives a rallying speech about Ebola to a locker room of soccer players. “For me the battle against Ebola is a personal one. To see those amazing countries in West Africa where my father grew up and my parents married being ravaged by this disease is painful and horrific,” said Elba in a statement.

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