“Every tennis match starts with the same two words: ‘Quiet Please.’
But change can be noisy and our love can transform anything.
Outside the court we will let our voices be heard as loud as we can.
If you see the potential for good, speak up.
Together, we can change the game for the better.”
On Monday, August 28th, Adidas, Pharrell Williams, Stan Smith and Adidas tennis athletes Garbiñe Muguruza, Angelique Kerber, Sascha Zverev, Dominic Thiem and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga gathered at Frederick Johnson Community Court in Harlem, NY, to host a tennis clinic with local youth organizations to kick off the launch of Don’t Be Quiet Please, a New York City-wide campaign inspiring individuals to make game-changing pledges. During the event, Williams delivered the manifesto above, inviting New Yorkers to join him in a citywide activation encouraging all to believe in their voices and be loud in inspiring change through love.
Pharrell and Adidas took this manifesto further and put it into action by re-creating one of the most powerful symbols in the sport of tennis. The umpire chair: the ultimate authority symbol in every tennis match. It is where every urge for quietness comes from. Pharrell and Adidas gave these chairs the
QUIET PLEASE treatment, which displayed words from the manifesto. Ultimately, these umpire chairs became platforms, spread across New York City, for people to express themselves and their love as loud as they can. Ten custom umpire chairs were stationed around the city, including: Columbus Circle, Apollo Theater, NY Public Library, Herald Square, Astor Place, Flatiron, Christopher & Gay St., Petrosino Square and Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn.
Inspired to look at tennis from a different point of view, and how sports can serve as a vehicle for positivity and change, together Adidas and Pharrell additionally announced a community program including the restoration of a New York City tennis court through a donation to the NYC Parks and children’s tennis scholarships in partnership with Court16 and Horizons, offered to 25 kids from Brooklyn Friends School.
During a time when people are being persecuted just for being who they are, we also ask you to speak up and change the game for the better when you see an opportunity to do so. Don’t Be Quiet, Please.
Check out photos from the event by clicking the “read more” jump, where Pharrell, Stan Smith and the Adidas tennis athletes are donned in Pharrell’s new Adidas tennis apparel collection, and photos of celebrities speaking up on the
QUIET PLEASE umpire chairs.
Photos via Getty Images and @_kidwzrd_