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The sports community has been devastated in an unprecedented way by the coronavirus. Season cancellations have put the entire sports world on pause. Sports figures are in a great position to support the community and help mitigate some of the worst of the damage. Players are stepping up.
It is not the incredibly rich athletes and team executives whose livelihoods are being threatened, but thousands of stadium and team workers that no longer have jobs to report to.
Two notable sports figures have made a commitment to supporting the families whose well being is threatened by the sports world's hiatus.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, one of the more recognizable and influential owners in sports, wasted no time in saying that he will help those workers that have given so much to support the organization.
Cuban said he “reached out ... to find out what it would cost to financially support people who aren't going to be able to come to work.” By taking quick action to try and establish a program, Cuban can set a precedent for other owners to follow, helping support the workers that would otherwise have few options.
Top sports figures can always be in a positive position of influence, whether on the field or off. Seeing prominent figures take action to address all the needs of the individuals whose work is upended is a sign that there will be help available to people that need it.
Cuban has the kind of influence that allows him to set an example for other owners. Even if it is just his NBA colleagues, he is in a position to make sure other teams can follow suit, and ensure some of the most vulnerable people are not left.
Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers has been a positive community voice for years. He has been outspoken about mental health with players, and has established himself as a respected public figure. Love committed to donating $100 000 to help support stadium workers that will be unable to work.
Love continues to push for community support of those with mental health problems in a time of crisis, saying “It's important to know that those with a mental illness may be vulnerable to the effects of widespread panic and threat. Be kind to one another. Be understanding of their fears, regardless if you don't feel the same. Be safe and make informed decisions during this time."
Love and Cuban have made it clear that they will to continue to be leaders in the community and make sure the sports world is still using their positions of prominence to help those in need. During a time with so much uncertainty and panic, the sports community can have a tremendous impact on communities that will need as much as help as possible for the foreseeable future.