Why Kevin Love deserves our love
As we all know, the state of the NBA (and sports in general) is in an interesting place. With the spread of COVID-19 (stay safe everyone), the NBA suspended their season, and others have followed suit. When Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for coronavirus, the NBA took action. Now, for the time being, the season is on hold.
The hiatus has impacted fans and players alike. However, they aren’t the only ones. The suspension also affects people that work in the arenas where NBA games are held. There are 29 arenas across the country (the Lakers and Clippers share an arena), where all 30 NBA teams play their home games. At these games, you can find various workers doing tasks such as working concession stands, cleaning, and more. The suspension affects them as much as it affects the league. So, this situation is bigger than sports.
After the NBA’s announcement, one player decided to step up and help the dedicated workers who keep the arena going. Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love pledged $100,000 to help arena staff. He made the announcement on Instagram. Love wrote about the fears of the outbreak as well as its impact on arena and support staff.
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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.
“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.”
Love kicked off something special, and other players and teams throughout the league have followed his example. Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo pledged $100,000 for Bucks staff, Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin pledged the same, and New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson pledged a portion of his salary. The Golden State Warriors will give $1 million towards their staff, and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban will pay arena workers. As you can see, people around the league recognize the importance of arena workers and are repaying them for their efforts.
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! 🙏🏽— Giannis Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) March 13, 2020
The outbreak of COVID-19 is impacting all of us and, for some of us, has caused panic. Love’s actions (and his Instagram post) reflect that, and his pledge is a truly a kind gesture. Kudos to Kevin Love and the other players around the league who are looking out for staff. It is truly admirable.
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Image Source: AP Images