On an incredibly tough day of news, it’s refreshing to read something positive.
Four NBA players, Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL), Kevin Love (CLE), Blake Griffin (DET), and Zion Williamson (NOP) have all pledged to commit money to help out the arena workers who will be without a job during the NBA’s hiatus caused the coronavirus pandemic.
Antetokounmpo (Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee), Love (Rocket Mortage Fieldhouse in Cleveland), and Griffin (Little Caesar’s Arena in Detroit) have all dedicated $100,000 each to the arena staff of their respective franchises while Williamson (Smoothie King Center in New Orleans) has pledged to pay the entire arena’s staff salary for the next 30 days.
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
“My hope is that others will step up!!” Love told ESPN, according to Dave McMenamin.
Several NBA owners (although not all of them) have already come out and said they have figured out compensation packages for the arena staff. Ilitch Companies, who owns the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings and the same building that both the Red Wings and Detroit Pistons play in, has pledged $1 million to their part-time workers.
“We are committed to supporting our colleagues in this time of uncertainty,” Ilitch Companies posted on Twitter. “In light of the coronavirus and in conjunction with our partners, we are setting up a $1 million fund to cover the wages of our part-time event staff impacted by postponed events.”
More of the league’s billionaire team owners should probably be doing this if they haven’t already, though. The players shouldn’t have to spark this movement.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 13, 2020