The NBA season has been postponed due to coronavirus, but we already made our pick for Rookie of the Year. 19-year-old Zion Williamson just pledged to cover the salaries of Smoothie King Center employees for the next 30 days.
The New Orleans Pelicans guard made the announcement on Instagram, attributing the decision to his upbringing and appreciation for the people who make the games possible.
“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,” he wrote. “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.””
Following Williamson’s post, Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks pledged $100,000 to the workers at his 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. Me and my family pledge to donate $100,000 to the Fiserv Forum staff. We can get through this together!,” he tweeted.
The NBA officially suspended its season this week after a player from the Utah Jazz tested positive for coronavirus. Since that time, other major sports leagues have followed, including Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer and the National Hockey League.
On Friday, the House passed a coronavirus economic relief bill that will dedicate billions of dollars towards free testing, unemployment insurance, paid sick leave and other resources to address the hardship. The president, who declared a national emergency on Friday, has said he will sign the bill after the Senate passes it on Monday.
The closures across the country have resulted in loss of wages and layoffs in multiple industries. While the full impact of the hardship this will cause has yet to be determined, one thing’s for sure, the best way to get through it is together.
Thanks Zion for showing the way!