Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
The world is hurting right now, and the sports industry is no exception. But the feeling that "we're all in this together" is very real at the moment and worth recognizing. Amid the darkness, there is light.
What they're saying: Joe McLean, a wealth manager for some of the NBA's biggest stars, tells Axios by email that "literally 100%" of his clients have inquired about how much they can afford to donate and the best places to direct the funds.
- "From setting up online chess tournaments for kids, to laptop giveaways, to feeding the arena workers and kids. Everyone is stepping up!"
The state of play: Bauer, a New Hampshire-based hockey manufacturer, has shifted from making helmets to making protective face shields for medical workers.
- Formula One teams are using their engineering skills to manufacture thousands of ventilators.
- Countless athletes have donated money to support medical workers and raised millions of dollars via fundraising campaigns.
- Other athletes, like Joel Embiid, have pledged money to support team employees impacted by pay cuts (Embiid's generosity caused Sixers ownership to do a 180 and not cut salaries after all).
- Stadium parking lots have been turned into COVID-19 testing centers, offering drive-thru tests to local residents.
The big picture: McLean believes that this unprecedented suspension will give players a new sense of perspective, particularly when it comes to the people whose livelihoods depend on them playing basketball.
"Everyone all around the world is getting a crash course on how the global economy works, the cause and effect, and how critical each industry is to the other."
"The importance of every individual in that arena has been magnified, and I think when everyone steps back on the floor we will all have a greater appreciation for the people in service that bring each game to life."
"It will be a global celebration of service when play resumes. Each player can now look each arena worker in the eye and know that their job helps support thousands and thousands of other peoples' lives."