More players and organizations are stepping up for the arena workers who will now miss paychecks due to the NBA suspending games indefinitely during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo said on Friday he will donate $100,000 to the staff at the Fiserv Forum.
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
Later in the day, Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin and New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson also pledged to help the workers in their home arenas.
Williamson promised to cover all worker salaries for 30 days.
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,” Williamson wrote. ... “I am pledging to cover the salaries for all of those Smoothie King Center workers for the next 30 days.”
Meanwhile, Rod Beard of the Detroit News reports that Griffin has pledged $100,000 to the workers at Little Caesars Arena.
back at you. just following suit https://t.co/eQHrdodond— Blake Griffin (@blakegriffin23) March 13, 2020
Their donations came the day after the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kevin Love announced a $100,000 donation through his foundation to help the team’s support staff and arena staff.
“I hope that during this time of crisis, others will join me in supporting our communities,” Love wrote in the Instagram announcement.
Mavericks, Hawks, Warriors plan to help staff
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban first brought the issue up Wednesday night after the NBA announced it would suspend games indefinitely. The Mavericks announced on Friday afternoon that it would pay event staff for the estimated six home games that will be missed during the 30-day hiatus.
Just released by Mavs. Team will pay staff over six projected home games that will be missed. pic.twitter.com/0k1hZumAz2— Jay Busbee (@jaybusbee) March 13, 2020
The Golden State Warriors took it a step further on Friday night, too.
The ownership group, along with players and coaches, pledged to donate $1 million to the staff that works at the Chase Center.
Golden State Warriors ownership, players and coaches will contribute $1 million to disaster relief fund for Chase Center employees.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) March 14, 2020
Atlanta Hawks owner Tony Ressler agreed to join Cuban in doing something similar for his arena workers, and the Philadelphia 76ers have said they would do something.
Bulls, Lakers, Clippers, Nets follow suit
Several teams made similar moves on Saturday, too.
The Bulls, along with the Chicago Blackhawks, announced that they would come together to pay United Center employees during the break.
STATEMENT FROM ROCKY WIRTZ AND JERRY REINSDORF:— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) March 14, 2020
The United Center ownership and the Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks, on behalf of our front offices and players, will pay day-of-game employees through the remainder of the originally scheduled season. (1/2)
The Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers and Kings made the same announcement just hours later.
The Lakers, Clippers, Kings and STAPLES Center have joined together to establish a fund to provide financial support to all hourly event staff employees impacted by the suspension of sporting events at STAPLES Center.https://t.co/2oItIzw5kq— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) March 14, 2020
The Brooklyn Nets did the same for workers at the Barclays Center.
Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center commit to paying hourly employees through the end of May, if needed, for all games and events that would have happened. pic.twitter.com/CEgbDKKACG— Jay Busbee (@jaybusbee) March 14, 2020
Magic announce $2 million to help arena employees
The DeVos family, owners of the Orlando Magic, announced a $2 million fund for workers at Amway Center. Approximately 1,800 part-time employees will receive paychecks through for the rest of the season’s schedule home games, per the release.
Magic players are also providing financial assistance.
Pelicans, Saints owner donates $1 million to fund, will pay arena workers
New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans owner Gayle Benson has donated $1 million to the Gayle Benson Community Assistance fund. The fund is aimed at aiding those in the New Orleans community affected by the coronavirus.
Pelicans announce owner Gayle Benson is donating $1 million toward community assistance efforts in New Orleans, and will also create a separate fund for arena employees: pic.twitter.com/aj2r6Fmplf— David Aldridge (@davidaldridgedc) March 16, 2020
On top of that, Benson, 73, has set up an Arena Assistance Fund to make sure arena workers get paid for Pelicans games that have been postponed. This is a separate donation from Benson’s $1 million community fund. Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson has already pledged $100,000 to ensure Pelicans’ arena workers get paid for games postponed as people try to prevent the coronavirus from spreading.
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