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Sports stars shining a light on those in need during coronavirus pandemic

Professional athletes are stepping up to help those affected by work stoppages

Within a day of the NBA announcing the suspension of the rest of the 2019-20 season, Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love announced that he would be donating $100,000 to the staff members at the team’s arena who would otherwise go unpaid during a protracted work stoppage. Almost immediately, a cluster of NBA players followed Love’s lead, pitching in hundreds of thousands of dollars to their respective teams’ arena and support staff, which at that point had not yet received word from their employers on their work status.

Love and his colleagues’ actions even inspired at least 21 team owners to either create funds to compensate hourly workers or create plans that will assist workers through what could be upward of three to five months of no NBA games. Below you will find the list of American professional athletes who have announced plans to donate to either their team’s support staff or organizations assisting in relief efforts due to the coronavirus. This list will be updated regularly.


Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers

Organization: Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse staff.

Pledge: $100,000.

View this post on Instagram

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.

A post shared by Kevin Love (@kevinlove) on

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

Organization: Fiserv Forum staff.

Pledge: $100,000.

Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans

Organization: Smoothie King Center staff.

Pledge: Unknown.

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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.

A post shared by Zion Williamson (@zionwilliamson) on

Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz

Organization: Vivint Smart Home Arena staff; coronavirus-affected families in Salt Lake City and Oklahoma City; French health care system.

Pledge: $500,000.

Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves

Organization: Mayo Clinic.

Pledge: $100,000.

Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz

Organization: Granite School’s District Seamless Summer Feeding Program.

Pledge: Unknown.

J.J. Watt, Houston Texans and Kealia Ohai, Chicago Red Stars

Organization: Houston Food Bank.

Pledge: $350,000.

Jeremy Lin, Beijing Ducks

Organization: UNICEF.

Pledge: $150,000.

Blake Griffin, Detroit Pistons

Organization: Little Caesars Arena staff.

Pledge: $100,000.

Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

Organization: Alameda County Community Food Bank.

Pledge: Unknown.

Trevor Bauer, Cincinnati Reds

Organization: Major League Baseball staff.

Pledge: $20,000-plus.

Alex Bregman, Houston Astros

Organization: Houston Food Bank.

Pledge: 1,000 quarantine food kits.

George Springer, Houston Astros

Organization: Minute Maid Park.

Pledge: $100,000.

Brandon McManus, Denver Broncos

Organization: Food Bank of the Rockies.

Pledge: 20,000 meals.

Charlotte Hornets roster

Organization: Spectrum Center staff.

Pledge: Unknown.

Orlando Magic roster

Organization: Magic, Amway Center staff.

Pledge: Unknown.

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

Organization: Food Lifeline.

Pledge: One million meals.

Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs

Organization: Harvesters.

Pledge: 6,000 meals.

Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs

Organization: Harvesters; Operation Breakthrough.

Pledge: 6,000 meals; food and supplies.

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

Organization: Harvesters; Kansas City Public Schools lunch programs.

Pledge: 15,000 meals; $100,000.

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

Organization: Atlanta Community Food Bank and Giving Kitchen.

Pledge: $100,000.

Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks

Organization: Fiserv Forum staff.

Pledge: $100,000.

Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns

Organization: Phoenix Suns Charities.

Pledge: $100,000.

Luka Dončić, Dwight Powell and Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks

Organization: University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Parkland Hospital.

Pledge: $500,000.

Adrian Peterson, Washington Redskins

Organization: Houston Independent School District and Meals on Wheels.

Pledge: $100,000.

Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs

Organization: U.S. Virgin Islands college students.

Pledge: Airplane tickets.

Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles and Julie Ertz, Chicago Red Stars

Organization: Philabundance

Pledge: $100,000

Jason Kelce, Philadelphia Eagles

Organization: Philabundance

Pledge: $100,000

Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls

Organization: Feeding America.

Pledge: 12,500 meals.

Tyrann Mathieu, Kansas City Chiefs

Organization: Harvesters.

Pledge: 30,000 meals.

Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets

Organization: Feeding America; City Harvest.

Pledge: $323,000; 250,000 meals.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B-FfonBn281/

Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers

Organization: COVID-19 medical relief; 76ers employees.

Pledge: $500,000; unknown.

Marcus Mariota, Las Vegas Raiders

Organization: Kauluwela and Palolo elementary schools.

Pledge: 1,000 meals per day.

Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans

Organization: Ben Taub Hospital.

Pledge: Meals for hospital personnel.

Laremy Tunsil, Houston Texans

Organization: Florida Gateway Food Bank and the Star of Hope Mission.

Pledge: $250,000.

Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers

Organization: Los Angeles-area hospitals.

Pledge: Up to $250,000.

Carlos Correa, Houston Astros

Organization: City of Houston.

Pledge: $500,000.

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions

Organization: Forgotten Harvest, Detroit Public School system and Michigan hospital workers.

Pledge: $120,000.

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For all of you in Michigan who are putting your own health and life on the line to take care of others, we are all in such debt to you. Matthew and I wanted to make sure that you knew how much we appreciate you and what you are doing and so did these restaurants we partnered with.. so please, if you are an employee of a hospital, please have whatever meal you want from any of these restaurants above… on the Staffords. This is for take-out only so everyone stays safe. It is limited to 3 meals per pickup. Please mention you work for a hospital when you call to place your order and please bring with you your hospital badge to show when you come to pick up your food! This is such a crazy, scary time in life and we couldn’t imagine what your days are like on the front line of it all. Please know we are thinking about y’all, praying for y’all and how grateful we are for the selfless service you are providing. Restaurants: Roadside Bar and Grill Zingerman’s Deli Walgburgers Royal Oak Slows TO GO For more info, please click the link in my bio.

A post shared by Kelly Stafford (@kbstafford89) on

Jared Goff and Andrew Whitworth, Los Angeles Rams

Organization: United Way and the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.
Pledge: $500,000.

Chandler Jones, Arizona Cardinals

Organization: St. Mary’s Food Bank, Midwest Food Bank and Mother Teresa’s Cupboard.
Pledge: 150,000 meals.

Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

Organization: State of Louisiana.
Pledge: $5 million.

Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

Organization: Western New York COVID-19 Community Response Fund and FeedMore WNY.
Pledge: $25,000.

Miroslav ‘Rusev’ Barnyashev, WWE

Organization: WWE staff.
Pledge: $20,000.


Dozens of athletes have also donated signed memorabilia to be auctioned by the Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s COVID-19 Response Fund.

Martenzie is an associate editor for The Undefeated. His favorite cinematic moment is when Django said "Y'all want to see somethin?"