NBA players will get paid during this suspension in play. There is specific language in the CBA that makes sure players still get their checks during certain unforeseen circumstances, and “epidemics” is specifically listed as one such case.
However, the ushers, ticket takers, concessionaires, janitorial staff, and a lot of other hourly workers at arenas around the league will no longer get their hours or checks during this stoppage. It’s not just the NBA games, arenas often host other sporting events — such as NHL games — as well as concerts and other events. Every one of those will be canceled in the short term, leaving thousands of people around the nation with a drastically reduced income. That’s not to mention the support staff around the teams not on salary.
Kevin Love wants to do his part to help out in Cleveland.
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Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. And the fear and anxiety resulting from the recent outbreak of COVID-19 can be extremely overwhelming. Through the game of basketball, we've been able to address major issues and stand together as a progressive league that cares about the players, the fans, and the communities where we work. I'm concerned about the level of anxiety that everyone is feeling and that is why I'm committing $100,000 through the @KevinLoveFund in support of the @Cavs arena and support staff that had a sudden life shift due to the suspension of the NBA season. I hope that during this time of crisis, others will join me in supporting our communities. Pandemics are not just a medical phenomenon. They affect individuals and society on so many levels, with stigma and xenophobia being just two aspects of the impact of a pandemic outbreak. 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. And I encourage everyone to take care of themselves and to reach out to others in need — whether that means supporting your local charities that are canceling events, or checking in on your colleagues and family.
The Cavaliers are with him.
Thank you @kevinlove — coming through in the clutch 🙏
We’re behind you, as we also announced earlier today that we are compensating all of our @RMFieldHouse hourly and event staff team members as if every game and every event is still taking place!
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) March 12, 2020
It’s not only Love and the Cavs. Both Mark Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks and the Atlanta Hawks have takes steps to set up funds to help arena workers, and other teams are expected to follow suit.
It’s a generous gesture by Love, and a reminder of how big the NBA’s reach is and how many people’s livelihoods are tied to the games. Hopefully, there will be enough people stepping forward to help these workers through this suspension.
And, hopefully, the suspension doesn’t last that long.