Former US President Barack Obama commends NBA players for covering arena staff salaries

NBA players have donated their own money to pay arena staff throughout the indefinite suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic and the 44th President of the United States took to social media to acknowledge the efforts.

Obama shared a news story about the players’ generosity to his Twitter accompanied by a statement of gratitude: “A shout out to Kevin, Giannis, Zion, Blake, Steph and all the players, owners and organizations who are setting a good example during a challenging time. A reminder that we’re a community, and that each of us has an obligation to look out for each other.”

Kevin Love was the first among a growing list of players to pledge $100,000 to his foundation in order to help pay the salaries of the Cavaliers arena staff whom he calls “family”. Blake Griffin followed suit donating his own $100,000 to the Detroit Pistons.

Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo tweeted his intentions: “It’s bigger than basketball! And during this tough time I want to help the people that make my life, my family’s lives and my teammates lives easier. Me and my family pledge to donate $100,000 to the Fiserv Forum staff. We can get through this together! 🙏🏽”

While New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson took to Instagram to announce he will be paying the full salaries of staff at the Smoothie King Centre for the next 30 days, the minimum time the suspension is expected to last.

The Golden State Warriors tweeted on Saturday that: “Warriors ownership, players and coaches to contribute $1 million to disaster relief fund for Chase Center employees.” Among the players are six-time Allstar Steph Curry and his wife Ayesha, who also announced plans to donate to the Alameda County Community Food Bank to help serve the displaced students through their foundation, Eat.Learn.Play.

The NBA shut down all operations and play this week after Utah Jazz stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell tested positive for COVID-19. Commissioner Adam Silver said the suspension was likely to last at least 30 days on TNT Thursday, but no definite dates are available at the minute.

Silver added that the NBA is using the next month to discuss options for resuming the season and whether this is to include format changes.

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