NBA Players Doing the Lord's Work Donating Funds to Relieve Arena Workers Who Lost Wages Due to Season Suspension

Illustration for article titled NBA Players Doing the Lords Work Donating Funds to Relieve Arena Workers Who Lost Wages Due to Season Suspension
Photo: Harry How (Getty Images)

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to hold world-wide attention representing a strong majority of news coverage across media, it is seldom that we see good news and positive displays of humanity.

So it warms the heart to see people of means reaching out to help those most vulnerable to be affected financially by the crisis through a loss of work. This is what is happening in the wake of the NBA 2020 season suspension as 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.

Milwaukee Buck Giannis Antetokounmpo, New Orleans Pelican Zion Williamson and Detroit Piston Blake Griffin are just a few among players who have made announcements about doing their part to offset the financial burdens faced by hourly workers in their stadiums.


“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!” tweeted Antetokounmpo.

Griffin also confirmed plans to donate $100,000 to workers at Little Caesars arena while Williamson took to Instagram pledging to pay the salaries of all Smoothie King Center employees for the next 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. “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.”


Employees at the Chase Center in San Fransisco are also being given some much needed relief as the Golden State Warriors announce from their Twitter account that $1 million is coming to them via players, coaches and franchise owners.


The post included a quote from Warriors guard Stephen Curry saying, “The men and women who work our games at Chase Center are critical in providing an incredible game-night experience for our fans, including of course, the popcorn vendors. As players, we wanted to do something, along with our ownership and coaches, to help ease the pain during this time.”


Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban announced Wednesday that he is also taking steps to help arena workers through a financial support program.

“I reached out to the folks at the arena and our folks at the Mavs to find out what it would cost to support, financially support, people who aren’t going to be able to come to work,” Cuban said. “They get paid by the hour, and this was their source of income. So, we’ll do some things there. We may ask them to go do some volunteer work in exchange, but we’ve already started the process of having a program in place. I don’t have any details to give, but it’s certainly something that’s important to me.”


The economic impact that the coronavirus has created has been enormous with millions across the U.S. and across the globe being affected through lost wages. While there are relief efforts being made to counteract the effects, it’s feared that many of those workers won’t be compensated for their losses. Hopefully, more people who are able will follow the lead of these NBA players and do their part in contributing to the financial relief of their fellow humans.

Zack Linly is a poet, performer, freelance writer, blogger and grown man lover of cartoons

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I am absolutely inspired by the generosity of these players and their insistence on showing us that those who have reached the pinnacles of their profession can still empathize with the rest of us and do good works...


Gayle Benson... you are worth $3.1 BILLION and are paying Zion Williamson’s salary. What are YOU doing with your money to help support these workers, the ones who, as Mr. Williamson said, “are the folks who make our games possible, creating the perfect environment for our fans and everyone involved in the organization,” the ones who support the team that YOU OWN? How are you contributing to the good of your community?