In the wake of the NBA 2020 season suspension following the coronavirus pandemic, players are donating money to cover the lost pay of thousands of hourly-wage employees who work in pro-basketball arenas all over the country.
The coronavirus pandemic has shut down practically all major U.S. sports and by extension the arenas. The suspension of the season is having a great deal of burden on arena workers too.
For the stadium workers, it means their jobs are in limbo since paychecks will no longer be constant and reliable.
To this effect, some NBA players have made announcements about contributing to offset the financial burdens faced by hourly workers in their stadiums. These athletes have pledged donations to support the various workers in arenas they call home.
Zion Williamson, of the New Orleans Pelicans has pledged to cover the salaries for every worker at the Pelicans’ arena for 30 days.
“These are the folks who make our games possible, creating the perfect environment for our fans and everyone involved in the organization,” Williamson wrote. “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.”
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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.
Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks also donated $100,000 to the staff of the Fiserv Forum arena.
““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. We can get through this together!” Antetokounmpo wrote on Twitter.
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
Blake Griffin, a forward for the Detroit Pistons also confirmed on Twitter he’s donating $100,000 to staff of Little Caesars Arena.
Meanwhile, the Golden State Warriors also announced from their Twitter account a contribution of $1 million to the disaster relief fund for Chase Center employees.
Warriors ownership, players and coaches to contribute $1 million to disaster relief fund for Chase Center employees pic.twitter.com/42nYAalO9t
— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) March 14, 2020
The economic impact from the coronavirus pandemic is massive with little or no idea how long it will last and millions of people across the globe are losing their wages as a result.
Hopefully, just like these NBA players, more people will contribute to the financial relief of those who have been highly impacted.