Thanks to NBA star Kyrie Irving, many honorable WNBA players can sit out the season and not worry where their next meal will come from. He is pushing to aid players with $1.5 million to support the income who sat out because of the global pandemic or social justice matters.
What We Know:
- According to a statement on the NBA website, the funds will be made possible by Irving’s KAI Empowerment Initiative he launched Monday. Apart from providing a stable income, it will also give players a financial literacy program created by UBS.
- WNBA players Natasha Cloud and Jewell Loyd, have had discussions with Irving over the obstacles these women face by having to put a temporary halt in their careers. The season began over the weekend and will be played exclusively at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
- Irving’s decision to help the leagues financial struggle reflects the fact that WNBA player salaries hardly top $200,000, compared to the millions players make in the NBA.
“Whether a person decided to fight for social justice, play basketball, focus on physical or mental health, or simply connect with their families, this initiative can hopefully support their priorities and decisions,” Irving said in a statement.
- A majority of players, aside from Cloud and Loyd, will end up skipping this year’s season as a result of the social instability the U.S has faced in 2020. Many do it as an act of protest or concern for one’s health.
- It’s still too early to see how players will be eligible for Irving’s program, but players will need to vividly explain why they are choosing to decline to participate in this season and must not be getting significant income elsewhere. The same goes for the coronavirus pandemic excuse, says the NBA’s statement.
Due to his shoulder surgery, Irving will not play for the Nets for this untraditional season. He has however, been a very clear about social justice issues. He produced a TV special raising awareness for the death of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black emergency medical technician (EMT) whose home was wrongly invaded and shot to death in Louisville, Kentucky, back in March.