Milwaukee Bucks All-Stars Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton announced Friday that they will be donating $100,000 each to Fiserv Forum workers, and the organization is matching all player donations.
Unsurprisingly, Milwaukee Bucks stars Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton continue to take the lead both on and off the court and during this time of great unrest and crisis.
Friday afternoon, Antetokounmpo pledged $100,000 to the workers at Fiserv Forum who are affected by the NBA season being suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak.
This came a day after Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star forward Kevin Love announced he’d be donating $100,000 to workers at Rocket Mortgage Arena, and Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin did the same for Little Caesars Arena workers Friday afternoon in the wake of Antetokounmpo’s announcement.
Middleton also followed his teammate’s lead late on Friday evening, as the Bucks announced via their social media.
Antetokounmpo has also been upfront about taking the proper precautions that are needed to fight off the virus as he tweeted Thursday afternoon.
Of course, all Bucks fans and beyond had been wondering whether the organization would take the lead to take care of those that rely on working at Fiserv Forum, and contribute to the overall arena experience since it opened doors before the 2018-19 season.
Thankfully, the Bucks eventually followed suit with their signature star and announced they’d be matched Antetokounmpo’s donation, and would continue to match any future ones that any Bucks players may make.
That comes after ESPN’s Woodyard reported Thursday that Fiserv Forum workers that were slated to work Thursday night’s tilt versus the Boston Celtics would be paid a three-hour minimum following the league’s announcement to suspend the season Wednesday night.
It’s certainly a start and other teams such as the Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Portland Trail Blazers and Washington Wizards have also provided similar contributions to their arena staff.
At the same time, things are still so fluid for everyone as the outbreak starts to grow within the United States of America, and North America at large. And that was something that Bucks senior vice president Alex Lasry reiterated as he discussed covering both full and part-time workers with The Athletic’s Eric Nehm late Friday afternoon:
Lasry told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that “the Bucks are working with union reps to make sure that all those who work at Fiserv Forum have the support they need.”
League sources also relayed to my colleague Adam McGee that the Bucks had always planned to have a compensation plan for employees, and that talks with the unions had predated any of Friday’s announcements, and would continue going forward.
In what’s clearly an unprecedented time throughout the NBA and around the world, the proper steps to take care of each other throughout this health crisis have started to be made. And hopefully, we continue to see that over the coming weeks and months ahead.