Coronavirus shut down the biggest sports organizations in America yesterday. While millions of fans are disappointed that they won’t get to see their favorite athletes compete for championships, the effect it has on the people who depend on these events to feed their families is far more.


Employees at arenas all across the country will be losing out on God-knows-how-many desperately needed paychecks and the financial toll that could have them is potentially devastating.

Cavs baller Kevin Love is empathetic enough to recognize that he and many of his millionaire colleagues will be just fine, but those they work with might not be. He took to Instagram to drop the following message.


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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.

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New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williams, who was not even able to play a full NBA season due to injury and then the NBA coronavirus stoppage, also pledged to financially support workers at the Smoothie King Center.

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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.

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Detroit PIstons player Blake Griffin also pledged $100K to the workers at Auburn Hills.


Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo offered $100K to the staff at Fiserv Forum.


Other teams and players pledging to assist arena workers, which include security guards, ticket takers, cleaning and crew, are the Golden State Warriors who pledged a combined $1M from players, coaches and owners.



In the Warriors release, Curry said “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.” Curry is known for his love of popcorn. “As players, we wanted to do something, along with our ownership and coaches, to help ease the pain during this time.”

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Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz, who was the first NBA players infected with the coronavirus, spurring the league to shut down, will donate $200,000 to an employee relief fund at Vivint Smart Home Arena where the Jazz play.

He says he is also donating $100,000 to another coronavirus agency in Utah and in Oklahoma City plus $100K euros to an agency in his native France.Gobert, who was criticized for touching mics and other teammates playfully before he knew he was infected, released a statement that said:I know there are countless ways that people have been impacted. These donations are a small token that reflect my appreciation and support for all those impacted and are the first of many steps I will take to try and make a positive difference, while continuing to learn more about COVID-19 and educate others. 

The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Atlanta Hawks are among the other NBA teams who are donating money.  Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban may have influenced the outpouring of NBA  generosity as he was the first to commit to financial assistance to arena workers.


NBA Players Step Up To Help Arena Employees During NBA’s Coronavirus Shutdown  was originally published on

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