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NBA Star Kyrie Irving Launches $1.5 Million Fund To Support WNBA Players Who Opt-Out

NBA Star Kyrie Irving Launches $1.5 Million Fund To Support WNBA Players Who Opt-Out

He is being his sisters’ keeper!

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Iriving recently launched a $1.5 million initiative to support WNBA players who choose to sit out the 2020 season, Black Enterprise reports. 

The KAI Empowerment Initiative was created by Irving to support players of the Women’s National Basketball League who are opting out of the 2020 season as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and/or social justice reasons. Multiple women’s basketball players have opted out for social reform reasons including the Washington Mystic’s Natasha Cloud, Seattle Storm’s Jewell Loyd, and the Atlanta Dream’s Renee Montgomery. The sacrifice financially for these players is a little bit more hefty given that the highest salary in the WNBA is just slightly more than $200,000 annually. 

“Whether a person decided to fight for social justice, play basketball, focus on physical or mental health, or simply connect with their families, this initiative can hopefully support their priorities and decisions,” Irving said. 

The season recently started this week so most players have already declared what they’re choosing to do. In addition to financial support, the initiative will also provide the players with access to a financial literacy program. In order to be eligible to receive assistance the person must be an active WNBA player who has opted out of the 2020 season, be willing to share their reasoning behind opting out, have medical opt-out considerations related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and be willing to forego any other salary support from any other entity or organization. 

Players can apply to the KAI Empowerment Initiative here. The deadline is Tuesday, August 11th at 5pm EST. Recipients will be notified on August 24th. 

Thank you for everything you’re doing to help Kyrie!

Photo Courtesy of Ned Dishman/NBAE