One of the moments that convinced folks to take coronavirus seriously was the NBA’s announcement that they were indefinitely suspending its season. And now one of the players is demonstrating what it means to be a team player on and off the court. On Thursday, Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love pledged $100,000 to aid arena workers who will be displaced due to the NBA’s response.
Love announced his act of generosity on his Instagram account accompanied by a photograph of himself taking a selfie with construction workers during the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse recent renovation.
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“Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. And the fear and anxiety resulting from the recent outbreak of COVID-19 can be extremely overwhelming,” Love wrote.
“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 Kevin Love Fund 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.”
The Cavaliers also said they were working on developing “a compensation plan to continue paying our event staff and hourly workforce that is impacted with the changes to our regular event schedule.”
Over a thousand workers are employed at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse and the Canton Memorial Civic Center for the Cavs and the Charge, the Cavs’ G League affiliate, as well as for the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters, NCAA events and concerts.
Other athletes are also pledging to take care of the people who help make sporting events run smoothly. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said that he was figuring out a plan for support services at the American Airlines Center, where the Mavericks play.
“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,” he said.