Of the four major team sports leagues in the United States, three of them were up until this week in-season. The NBA and the NHL were deep into their regular seasons, with the postseason around the corner, while the MLB was in spring training. All three, among many other entertainment avenues, have suspended activities for the time being, although all with the intention of resuming play at some point in time later this year.
This means that employees in several dozen stadiums around the country are currently out of work, and many of them will likely have some degree of difficulty supporting themselves through this sudden and shocking downtime.
More players should follow the lead of Kevin Love. The Cleveland Cavaliers player committed $100,000 of his own money in order to help support the staff of the arena in which his team plays after the NBA announced that all games would be suspended for at least a month.
Kevin Love commits $100,000 to the Cavs’ arena and support staff due to the suspension of the NBA season.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 12, 2020
“Pandemics are not just a medical phenomenon”, he wrote in an Instagram post. “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.
“I encourage everyone to take care of themselves and to reach out to others in need”, he went on, “whether that means supporting your local charities that are canceling events, or checking in on your colleagues and family”.
There are plenty of millionaires in all of the major sports leagues around the country. If they all chipped in $100,000 of their own money, they could help get everybody involved in their organization through this, particularly those who need the financial assistance much more than they do.
If NFL players have been preparing to fund a war chest in the case of a 2021 lockout by putting in $250,000 of their own money, then they can afford to help pay for those with whom they work on a daily basis in their team facilities, who may currently be unable to work, and unable to earn a living.
No, nobody is obligated to take this step. And nobody is suggesting it. But it sure would be a powerful and meaningful gesture, and could help illustrate that there are so many people involved in professional sports that enable the leagues to bring this quality of entertainment to us year in and year out. Most of whom just work regular jobs like most of us. And all of whom are now weathering this storm together, not knowing what to expect.
Oh, and this all goes even more so for the billionaire owners who sign their checks in the first place.