Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid is pledging $500K and will also help employees financially impacted by the team’s salary reductions.
The money will be donated “to help survival and protection efforts in the community.”
Embiid, who has been in self-isolation since March 11, has been studying the best ways to help the doctors and nurses on the front lines, who are treating patients with COVID-19.
It was recently announced that salaried, full-time employees of the 76ers were notified that they would be subject to temporary pay cuts of up to 20 percent and four-day work weeks.
“As we navigate this evolving COVID-19 environment, we are mindful of the long-term impact the suspension of live events and games will have on our organization and industry,” said Scott O’Neil, CEO of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, the sports and entertainment group that owns the 76ers, in a statement sent to the employees. “To ensure we can continue to support and operate our businesses during these uncertain times without reducing our workforce, we are asking our full-time, salaried employees to temporarily reduce their pay by up to 20 percent and move to a four-day week.”
Members of the 76ers coaching staff and front office on contracts have until March 26 to agree to the 20 percent salary reduction, according to Adrian Wojnarowski.
Only at-will employees, those who make over $50K a year in salary, are required to accept the 76ers salary reductions, while those under contract are needed to “volunteer” to do it, Wojnarowski adds.
*Update: 76ers announce they will not reduce salaries.
“After listening to our staff and players, it’s clear that was the wrong decision. We have reversed it and will be paying these employees their full salary,” according to a statement from Josh Harris, founder of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment.
Here is the full statement: