NBA Players Kevin Love, Zion Williamson & MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo Offer To Pay Arena Workers Amid Suspended Season
Following the recent fallout of the global COVID-19 pandemic (a.k.a. Coronavirus), the NBA has announced this week (March 11th), they have suspended the season for at least 30 days, according to reports.
In the day’s following, a number of active players are opening their wallets to help hourly workers who support their teams and work in arenas on a nightly basis. Players including current NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kevin Love, and Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans.
On Thursday, Love took to his Instagram announcing he would be donating $100,000 to help “arena and support staff that had a sudden life shift due to the suspension of the NBA season.”
View this post on Instagram
Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. And the fear and anxiety resulting from the recent outbreak of COVID-19 can be extremely overwhelming. Through the game of basketball, we've been able to address major issues and stand together as a progressive league that cares about the players, the fans, and the communities where we work. I'm concerned about the level of anxiety that everyone is feeling and that is why I'm committing $100,000 through the @KevinLoveFund in support of the @Cavs arena and support staff that had a sudden life shift due to the suspension of the NBA season. I hope that during this time of crisis, others will join me in supporting our communities. Pandemics are not just a medical phenomenon. They affect individuals and society on so many levels, with stigma and xenophobia being just two aspects of the impact of a pandemic outbreak. It's important to know that those with a mental illness may be vulnerable to the effects of widespread panic and threat. Be kind to one another. Be understanding of their fears, regardless if you don't feel the same. Be safe and make informed decisions during this time. And I encourage everyone to take care of themselves and to reach out to others in need — whether that means supporting your local charities that are canceling events, or checking in on your colleagues and family.
The reigning NBA MVP also took to his Twitter to reveal he would donate $100,000 to Fiserv Forum staff.
In addition, 19-year-old rookie Zion Williams took action by opening his wallet to cover the salaries of New Orleans’ Smoothie King Center workers for the next 30 days.
Williams went on to write about how he was inspired by many of those same people are still in recovery mode from Hurricane Katrina recovery in 2005. He adds his mother, Sharonda Anderson, set an example for him and that’s why he’s covering the salaries. Williams emotional statement reads,
“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.”
View this post on Instagram
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.
As the young 19-year-old, No. 1 overall pick, Williamson is set to make $9.757 million this year as a part of his four-year, $44.2 million deal, according to reports. He’s also picked up national endorsement deals with Jordan, Gatorade, Panini America, Mercedes-Benz, Fanatics, Beats, Mountain Dew and 2K Sports.
These three key notable NBA stars have inspire not only other NBA players but also front office members to cover the cost of hourly workers who will be out of a job due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuben released a statement Friday saying they are making arrangements to “ensure that scheduled event staff will receive payment for the six home games that were to take place during the 30-day NBA hiatus.”
Other teams that have said they either have a plan or are working on one during the hiatus include the Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors, Toronto Raptors, Toronto Maple Leafs, Brooklyn Nets, Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks, Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals.
What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments!