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Coronavirus: Zion Williamson to cover Smoothie King Center salaries for 30 days

  • Zion Williamson will pay the salaries of all Smoothie King Center staff for the next 30 days after the suspension of the NBA season.
Omnisport
NEWS
News
Modified 14 Mar 2020, 03:52 IST
Zion - cropped
NBA star Zion Williamson

New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson has vowed to cover the salaries of all Smoothie King Center staff over the next 30 days.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA season has been indefinitely suspended after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive on Wednesday.

Gobert's team-mate Donovan Mitchell has since confirmed he has contracted the virus and the NCAA has cancelled March Madness in response to the disease's spread.

Cleveland Cavaliers' Kevin Love, Detroit Pistons' Blake Griffin and Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo have all donated $100,000 to fund the staff at the home arenas of their teams.

And now Williamson – the first overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft – has pledged to pay the salaries of the staff at Smoothie King Center for 30 days.

"The people of New Orleans have been incredibly welcoming and supportive since I was drafted by the Pels last June, and some of the most special people I have met are those who work at Smoothie King Center," Williamson posted on Instagram.

"These are the folks who make our games possible, creating the perfect environment for our fans and everyone involved in the organization. 

"Unfortunately, many of them are still recovering from long term challenges created by [Hurricane] Katrina, and now face the economic impact of the postponement of games because of the virus.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The people of New Orleans have been incredibly welcoming and supportive since I was Drafted by the Pels last June, and some of the most special people I have met are those who work at smoothie King Center. These are the folks who make our games possible, creating the perfect environment for our fans and everyone involved in the organization. Unfortunately, many of them are still recovering from long term challenges created by Katrina, and now face the economic impact of the postponement of games because of the virus. My mother has always set an example for me about being respectful for others and being grateful for what we have, and so today I am pledging to cover the salaries for all of those Smoothie King Center workers for the next 30 days. This is a small way for me to express my support and appreciation for these wonderful people who have been so great to me and my teammates and hopefully we can all join together to relieve some of the stress and hardship caused by this national health crisis. This is an incredibly resilient city full of some of the most resilient people, but sometimes providing a little extra assistance can make things a little easier for the community.

A post shared by Zion Williamson (@zionwilliamson) on

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"My mother has always set an example for me about being respectful for others and being grateful for what we have, and so today I am pledging to cover the salaries for all of those Smoothie King Center workers for the next 30 days.

"This is a small way for me to express my support and appreciation for these wonderful people who have been so great to me and my team-mates and hopefully we can all join together to relieve some of the stress and hardship caused by this national health crisis.

"This is an incredibly resilient city full of some of the most resilient people, but sometimes providing a little extra assistance can make things a little easier for the community."

The MLB and NHL have also postponed their seasons, while on Friday president Donald Trump declared a national state of emergency in the United States.

Published 14 Mar 2020, 03:52 IST
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