(CLEVELAND) — With the NBA suspending its season due to the novel coronavirus outbreak in the US — and there being no guarantee it will be able to resume — many are worried about not getting to see their favorite basketball players in action for quite some time.
One athlete, however, is standing up for the people whose doesn’t typically hit the big screen: arena workers and those who provide support behind the scenes.
Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers took to Instagram Thursday to announce he is donating $100,000 to help people in his industry who will need assistance the most.
“Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations,” the Olympian began. “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,” the post continues. “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.”
In addition to making this pledge, Love said he hopes others will join him “during this time of crisis.”
The mental health advocate also spoke about how pandemics like COVID-19 affects individuals and society beyond just medically. He called out both “stigma and xenophobia” as two aspects that aren’t discussed enough.
“It’s important to know that those with a mental illness may be vulnerable to the effects of widespread panic and threat,” he concluded. “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.”
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban also promised to step in and lend a hand to those who need it most.
“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,” he 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.”
“I reached out … to find out what it would cost to financially support people who aren’t going to be able to come to work.”
–Mark Cuban on his plan for Mavericks employees during the NBA suspension pic.twitter.com/McOl1vHUqO
— ESPN (@espn) March 12, 2020
Love’s pledge came just hours after the NBA first announced it was suspending the season and after Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz tested positive for the disease.
Later, in a letter to fans, the organization explained that its decision was a temporary one that was taken out of precaution. It also said the hiatus will last “at least 30 days” and that it fully intends to resume play “when it becomes safe for all concerned.”
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