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NBA

Coronavirus: Several NBA players pledge donations to ensure arena employees are paid during suspension of NBA season

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic is being felt all around the NBA, following the 30-day suspension of games to ensure the health and safety of players.

With no games being played, arena and gameday employees, who work on an hourly basis currently find themselves without work however several players have raised their hands to do their bit to help those in need.

Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love was the first to donate $100,00 to workers at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse who won't be able to work, posting this to his Instagram.

View this post on Instagram

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.

A post shared by Kevin Love (@kevinlove) on

The Cavaliers later released a statement, confirming all employees would be taken care of in light of the cancellation of games.

"Providing a safe and healthy of a work environment as possible for our organisation and our visitors is our highest priority and the extensive precautionary and preventative measures being taken continue to be in place," the statement read.

"At the same time, we are also developing a compensation plan to continue paying our event staff and hourly workforce that is impacted with the changes to our regular event schedule."

"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," Antetokounmpo wrote. "Me and my family pledge to donate $100,000 to the Fiserv Forum staff. We can get through this together!"

MORE: Adam Silver says the league will be suspended for 'at least 30 days'

Detroit Pistons big man Blake Griffin took Love's lead and followed suit, pledging $100,00 to the workers at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.

Reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo did the same for the employees at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, taking to Twitter to share that he also plans to pledge $100,000.

"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," Antetokounmpo wrote. "Me and my family pledge to donate $100,000 to the Fiserv Forum staff. We can get through this together!"

New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson also announced on Instagram that he will cover the salaries of Smoothie King Center employees for 30 days

"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," Williamson wrote.

MORE: NBA players react to the suspension of play

"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."

View this post on Instagram

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.

A post shared by Zion Williamson (@zionwilliamson) on

Most recently, Utah Jazz centre Rudy Gobert joined in with a massive donation of 'over $500,000' to COVID-related relief funds.

Several other teams, owners and organizations have also agreed to pay their home arena's part-time employees during the league's suspension.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says the league will be suspended for 'at least 30 days' with the decision coming following Jazz center Gobert testing positive for coronavirus/COVID-19, with further testing revealing teammate Donovan Mitchell had also tested positive.

The 30-day hiatus will last until what would have been the remainder of the 2019-20 regular season and it's unclear whether the season will resume or go directly into the playoffs, as Silver said, "it's frankly too early to tell."

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