NBA, Others Continue Stepping Up With Virus Donations
The NBA "knows how to mobilize, especially in difficult times," as the league has "found ways to help through its NBA Cares program -- from NBA and WNBA players and teams donating money to assist out-of-work arena workers, public-service announcements from players to mental health assistance to helping kids stay active and healthy during this time." The NBA and WNBA, along with players and teams, have pledged $50M to coronavirus-related efforts, and the NBA and NBPA each donated $1M to "benefit Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization, Crisis Text Line, Direct Relief and Share Our Strength, among others." The total right now is around $35M. The NBPA Foundation also is in the process of "streamlining [the] donation process so that organizations receive money faster." The foundation is "thinking big picture" as well, creating an "online resource for players called Big Hearts, Big Impact" (USA TODAY, 3/25).
PLAYERS HELP OUT: 76ers C Joel Embiid has "decided to donate $500,000 to the COVID-19 medical relief to help survival and protection efforts in the community" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 3/25)....Bulls G Denzel Valentine "made a donation" to the Greater Lansing Food Bank to "help provide meals to families and individuals in mid-Michigan." Valentine is originally from Lansing and played at Michigan State (NBCSPORTSCHICAGO.com, 3/24). Meanwhile, Bulls F Thaddeus Young and his wife, Shekinah, have "found an inventive way" of showing gratitude for delivery drivers. The Youngs on the front step of their house "set up a catch-all gift basket of snacks, bottled water and homemade sanitizer for food and mail delivery drivers still working while many others are able to hole up at home" (NBCSPORTSCHICAGO.com, 3/24).
GRIDIRON CARES: Jaguars Owner Shad Khan has committed $1M in "support of Northeast Florida's response" to the coronavirus pandemic. The donation is "designed to provide essential support to local organizations focused on the immediate health and well-being of First Coast residents" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 3/25)....The NFL Cardinals have made a $1M "founding contribution to the AZ Coronavirus Relief Fund" as part of the "Arizona Together" initiative launched yesterday by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 3/25)....Univ. of Memphis football coach Ryan Silverfield, along with his coaching staff, "purchased 360 meals for the Mid-South Food Bank" (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 3/24).
STEPPING UP: William Hill U.S. CEO Joe Asher has "created a foundation to assist William Hill employees furloughed in response" to the ongoing pandemic. Asher said that he "would donate his entire salary to the foundation until sports resume and he is encouraging other executives on his team to do the same." William Hill has 114 sports outlets in Nevada and 39 more in New Jersey and Iowa. Asher said that there are 255 William Hill employees "still working through the shutdown and he believes most of them will contribute something to the foundation" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 3/25).