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August 03, 2020

Kyrie Irving Helps WNBA Players Who Are Not Playing in the 2020 Season — See How

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The NBA player announced his recently launched foundation to financially support players from the Women’s National Basketball Association who decided not to play throughout the current season.

28-year-old NBA Brooklyn Nets player, Kyrie Andrew Irving, has recently started the KAI Empowerment Initiative with a 1.5 million dollar fund, in order to help WNBA players to receive a salary despite choosing not to play this season for coronavirus or social justice concerns.

Kyrie Irving, #11 of the Brooklyn Nets warms up before the game against the New Orleans Pelicans at Barclays Center on November 04, 2019 in New York City. I Image: Getty Images.

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The fund is intended to go to players who, even though they are active, have decided not to play in the 2020 WNBA season that started last Saturday, whether it is for health, professional or social issues. The KAI program will also allow all players to receive financial literacy from UBS.

WOMEN SUPPORT

The effort comes after several women from the professional league decided to sit out during the 2020 season for different reasons. Irving joined Washington Mystics’ Natasha Cloud and Seattle Storm’s Jewell Loyd and talked with them and other women to have a better understanding of their own challenges for this season.

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Cloud and Atlanta Dream’s, Renee Montgomery are part of the group that preferred to suspend their activities and chose to focus on social issues during this time plagued of protest against systemic racism. However, it makes them worry about their financial status.

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Irving, who has been out of the game since recovering from shoulder surgery, said in a statement that whatever the reason the WNBA members decided for not playing, the money will help support their priorities, but they have to be eligible for the program.

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HELP FROM PLAYERS

Following the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent suspension of NBA games, some professional players have become aware of the impact it has had on workers from basketball arenas and decided to donate money to help those who usually receive an hourly payment.

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Giannis Antetokounmpo from the Milwaukee Bucks donated $100,000 to the Fiserv Forum staff while Zion Williamson from the New Orleans Pelicans said he would be paying for next month's salaries of the Smoothies King Center employees.

Detroit Piston’s Blake Griffin confirmed he will be giving away 100,000 dollars to workers from the Little Caesars Arena. But they are not alone as Golden State Warriors’ owners announced that the franchise will contribute $1 million to a relief fund for Chase Center workers.

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