Professional athletes and teams are making an effort to support arena workers while their leagues suspend play

As major sports leagues and sporting events reacted to the coronavirus outbreak over the last 48 hours, several professional athletes and organizations are pledging to support arena workers who might be out of work while play is suspended.

The trend began when Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love decided to take action.

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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. 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.

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With the cancelation of the NBA, NHL, MLS and more, hourly arena workers will presumably be without paychecks as well.

Love isn’t the only NBA player who has stepped up to the plate in order to support arena staffers during the NBA suspension.

Milwaukee Bucks superstar and reigning league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo followed Love’s lead, announcing on Friday that he will donate $100,000 to the Bucks staff at Fiserv Forum.

Following Antetokounmpo’s donation, the Milwaukee Bucks announced they will match any of their players donations going forward for their staffers.

Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin pledged to support workers on Friday afternoon:

New Orleans Pelicans rookie star Zion Williamson has pledged to pay the salary of workers at the Smoothie King Center for the next month:

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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.

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Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, who was the first NBA player to test positive for the virus, announced that he would help out on Saturday:

On Friday, the Dallas Mavericks announced that they are implementing a plan to ensure staffers are paid during the NBA’s coronavirus suspension:

On Saturday, the Los Angeles Lakers, LA Clippers and LA Kings announced a joint venture with STAPLES Center to take care of arena staff:

Atlanta Hawks owner Tony Ressler also vowed to take care of arena workers:

On Friday afternoon, the Houston Rockets joined the movement:

The trend of supporting arena employees stretched to the NHL as well, beginning with the Florida Panthers:

Ilitch Companies, which owns the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers made the following announcement on Friday morning:

Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment also joined the movement on Friday morning:

Below are several other organizations that have pledged support to arena workers during league suspensions:


Stay tuned for more updates.