The Corona Virus disease (Covid-19) pandemic delivered brutal blows to the sports world but on the other hand, it gave athletes a chance to show their human side and help the less fortunate ones.
Here are a list of professional athletes who pledged money for the people affected by the virus and the ongoing battle to eradicate it:
1.) Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans
The Duke product was the very first NBA player to pledge money in order to cover the salaries of the workers of the Smoothie King Center amidst the season suspension.
Williamson promised to donate $100,000, doing so ‘to provide a little extra assistance that can me things a little easier for the community.’
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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.
The much-heralded Pelicans rookie mentioned the people’s debacle with Katrina and that they are still trying to recover from the aftermath of the hurricane. The economic impact of the pandemic could hit them hard that’s why he is trying to help them get a little stronger financially.
Even though the 2019 No. 1 overall pick missed 44 games because of torn knee meniscus, I say his rookie season is off to a great start, thanks to his generosity.
2.) Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers
Often criticized for not being “clutch” enough, the five-time NBA All-Star stepped up when it needed the most outside the basketball court.
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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.
Like Williamson, Love promised to donate $100,000 of his own money to the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse employees. The UCLA product is a known mental health advocate and mentioned that people with mental illness could be much vulnerable to the effects of the forced layoff. That’s why it’s important to be kind to one another and help one another in this time of need.
I say that’s the greatest example of putting your money where the mouth is. Good job, K-Love!
3.) Blake Griffin, Detroit Pistons
Following Kevin Love’s lead, Griffin committed $100,000 to the corona virus efforts. BG did not say much, but kudos to him.
back at you. just following suit https://t.co/eQHrdodond— Blake Griffin (@blakegriffin23) March 13, 2020
4.) Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
It seems like $100,000 is the standard here.
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
After the MVP, his fellow All-Star teammate followed and the whole Bucks organization matched both players’ donations.
A big All-Star assist by @khris22m who has just announced he will match @Giannis_an34 $100,000 donation to impacted Fiserv Forum workers.— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) March 14, 2020
As promised earlier today, the Bucks organization will match player donations to part-time arena workers. pic.twitter.com/RgmzXInYzn
5.) Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz
Gobert will forever be known as the first NBA player to test positive for the corona virus and while he may gotten heat because of how he jokingly approached the situation, he seemed truly apologetic and pledged $500,000. That includes the $200,000 assistance for the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, $100,000 to to support coronavirus-related social services in Utah and Oklahoma City, and $110,000 to his home country of France.
“I was careless and make no excuse,” Gobert wrote on Instagram. “I hope my story serves as a warning and causes everyone to take this seriously. I will do whatever I can to support using my experience as way to educate others and prevent the spread of this virus.”
Lesson learned, Rudy. Lesson learned.
As of now, four members of the Brooklyn Nets have been positively diagnosed to have the corona virus which includes Kevin Durant. The Nets have not mentioned the names of the three others but it sent ripple effects to other organizations, especially the Lakers, whom the Nets last played on March 10.
The Lakers issued this statement after learning the diagnosis of Durant and three others:
Today we were made aware that four players on the Brooklyn Nets have tested positive for COVID-19.We have been in immediate contact with our players and basketball operations staff members since being made aware of this development.
Given the exposure risks from our game against the Nets on March 10th, we are following the next steps of our COVID-19 procedures and protocol that are established in consultation with various health officials, the NBA and our UCLA Health doctors.
The health and well-being of our players, staff, fans, and society in general, is of paramount importance to us, and will continue to be our focus.We appreciate the support of our fans, family and friends, and wish everyone affected by this virus a speedy and healthy recovery.
No one has any idea how long this could drag on, but it’s something bigger than basketball. All of us should take care of each other and completely obey government protocols in your local areas. This, too, will pass.