According to estimates more than a million American jobs will be lost in the coming months due to the impact that the Coronavirus is taking on the economy. But luckily for some workers there are millionaires willing to support them while they’re out of work: NBA players.
After Rudy Gobert seemingly ended the NBA season last week with a joke gone horribly wrong (really, don’t hate him, the season was bound to get canceled), countless arena employees found themselves out of work and out of a paycheck. Luckily for them many of the NBA’s highest profile (and paid) players have heart and have pledged to donate money to help cover the money that workers will be losing in the coming months.
Players like Blake Griffin, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Love, and Zion Williamson (on a rookie salary mind you) have promised to financially support the men and women who help make the NBA season possible.
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The people of New Orleans have been incredibly welcoming and supportive since I was Drafted by the Pels last June, and some of the most special people I have met are those who work at smoothie King Center. These are the folks who make our games possible, creating the perfect environment for our fans and everyone involved in the organization. Unfortunately, many of them are still recovering from long term challenges created by Katrina, and now face the economic impact of the postponement of games because of the virus. My mother has always set an example for me about being respectful for others and being grateful for what we have, and so today I am pledging to cover the salaries for all of those Smoothie King Center workers for the next 30 days. This is a small way for me to express my support and appreciation for these wonderful people who have been so great to me and my teammates and hopefully we can all join together to relieve some of the stress and hardship caused by this national health crisis. This is an incredibly resilient city full of some of the most resilient people, but sometimes providing a little extra assistance can make things a little easier for the community.
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Props, man. We all know that rookie salary ain’t nathans compared to the tens of millions that superstar veterans get on the free agent market. Luckily others have followed suit and have pledged to do their part as well.
— Rod Beard (@detnewsRodBeard) March 13, 2020
It’s bigger than basketball! And during this tough time I want to help the people that make my life, my family’s lives and my teammates lives easier. Me and my family pledge to donate $100,000 to the Fiserv Forum staff. We can get through this together!
— Giannis Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) March 13, 2020
The team owners who have billions at their disposal meanwhile remain mum for the most part with the Golden State Warriors donating a cool million to the relief fund for their Chase Center Employees. Other organizations like the Dallas Mavericks, Atlanta Hawks and Portland Trailblazers are looking to make similar donations for their workers. Knicks owner James Dolan meanwhile wanted the season to continue until his pal Donald Trump called for the season to be canceled. Y’all know Trump doesn’t watch nor care about the NBA.
Still, props to all those looking out for the everyday worker who’s going to be hit hardest by this crisis. Even the last real American President we had took to Twitter to big up the players for their kindness.
A shout out to Kevin, Giannis, Zion, Blake, Steph and all the players, owners and organizations who are setting a good example during a challenging time. A reminder that we’re a community, and that each of us has an obligation to look out for each other. https://t.co/cv1RZi9GGL
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) March 14, 2020
We miss American leadership.