As the world at large continues to recognize the severity of the coronavirus pandemic, superstar athletes other leaders, particularly in NBA circles, have began taking action in regards to pledging money for arena employees and other seasonal workers who suddenly have no livelihood.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban immediately got the ball rolling with an awesome gesture, pledging to take care of hourly and contract workers who depend on the NBA schedule for thier pay, and that prompted the likes of Cleveland Cavaliers veteran Kevin Love, Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, and New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson to follow suit in their own respective cities.
While we should be commending these amazing selfless acts, the majority of the Association's owners, outside of Cuban, deserve condemnation for failing to step up, leaving the players to pick up the slack.
To be fair, a number of owners, including Dan Gilbert of theCavs, Jody Allen of the Trail Blazers, Ted Leonsis of the Wizards, and Antony Ressler of the Hawks, have all done thee right thing and decided to pitch in now that Giannis and Co. stepped up, but that's exactly the problem here: it simply shouldn't have taken this long. Taking care of your most vulnerable, lowest-paid staff members and contractors should be an automatic decision in this trying time.
Gilbert publicized his intentions on Thursday, but it's worth debating if he would have done so if not for Love's incredible $100,000 donation. To think that NBA owners, most of whom are billionaires, left their players -- Williamson is on a freaking rookie salary! -- take the initiative here just feels wrong.
And no, we will not tolerate any slander for finding the bad in an undeniably gracious gesture. There's plenty of good here, but there should be more of it considering the current predicament that thousands in and around the NBA community are now facing due to the coronavirus.
One third of teams making commitments to compensate arena employees just isn't good enough. There's no excuse for all 30 teams not to make pledges right here, right now.