Holiday Founds Social Justice Fund
New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday is planning to put the remainder of his 2019-20 salary, worth up to $5.3 million, toward an incredible cause. And he's not the only NBA player pledging to make a difference.
Alongside his wife, Lauren, Holiday will launch the Jrue and Lauren Holiday Social Justice Impact Fund, per ESPN’s Andrew Lopez, with funds going to charities across the country. The 30-year-old Pelicans guard detailed the origins of the idea to Rachel Nichols on “The Jump.”
“My wife just one night was like, ‘I really feel like you should pledge the rest of your salary.’ So, once she said that it was kind of like, ‘Damn, well, I mean you’re a genius,’” Holiday said. “I’ve been so blessed to make this money and to play basketball and still have a job but there’s people out there that need support.”
The fund will primarily help communities in New Orleans, Indianapolis and the Los Angeles area, cities where the Holiday family has ties. Holiday has played for the Pelicans for the past seven seasons, while his brothers, Justin and Aaron, play for the Indiana Pacers.
The Pelicans guard met his future wife, Lauren, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup winner, while they were both student-athletes at UCLA. Plus, Jrue’s family is from Los Angeles, while Lauren was born in Indianapolis.
The Holidays’ announcement comes as other NBA players have pledged to donate their salaries from the NBA restart to various charitable causes focused on combating racism and raising awareness for social justice.
Dwight Howard’s salary, a reported $700,000, will go toward the Breathe Again campaign, part of the Los Angeles Lakers center’s D12 foundation. Meanwhile, San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills will donate upward of $1 million to Black Lives Matter charities.
The call for action following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police has been heeded by a number of athletes across many sports. The Holidays, Howard and Mills are the most recent in a long line of those feeling compelled to act, and they likely won’t be the last.