Kyrie Irving has pledged $ 1.5 million to help pay for WNBA players who opted out of the 2020 season because of the corona virus pandemic or social justice movements.
The last WNBA campaign started late behind closed doors on Saturday, but some stars have decided to sit outside this year.
The season was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, with continued health and safety concerns, as the Black Lives Matter movement emerged in the interim after George Floyd’s death in custody.
The players who continue to protest during the national anthem as the games restarted, and the name of Breonna Taylor – a black woman shot by police officers – was on jerseys.
But Brooklyn Nets security guard Irving doesn’t want those on relatively modest wages to suffer if they decide they don’t want to play.
Along with unsubscribed Natasha Cloud and Jewell Loyd, the former NBA champion launched the KAI Empowerment Initiative on Monday.
Affected WNBA players can request support online.
Irving said in a statement, “With the help of Natasha Cloud and Jewell Loyd, I have interacted with several WNBA players who have decided to play and those who have decided not to.
“In these conversations I learned about the challenges and opportunities of their decisions and how it will affect their life, family and overall well-being.
“This platform was created to support all WNBA players in hopes of easing some of the financial burden imposed in these challenging times.
“Whether someone decides to fight for social justice, play basketball, focus on physical or mental health, or simply connect with their family, this initiative will hopefully support their priorities and decisions.”