Joel Embiid donating $500K to coronavirus relief, money to 76ers employees

76ers star Joel Embiid
David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

The 76ers are cutting the salaries of some employees amid the NBA’s coronavirus-caused stoppage.

Joel Embiid is stepping up on both fronts.

Noah Levick of NBC Sports Philadelphia:

Joel Embiid has pledged to donate $500,000 to COVID-19 medical relief efforts, a league source confirmed Tuesday to NBC Sports Philadelphia. The All-Star center will also help Sixers employees who will suffer financially because of salary reductions while the NBA season is suspended because of the coronavirus outbreak.

This is laudable.

It also intensifies backlash toward 76ers owner Josh Harris.

Embiid – on a max contract paying more than $147 million – is rich. But that’s a fraction of the $3.9 billion Harris is reportedly worth.

Yet, Embiid is stepping up to help Harris’ employees?

I wonder how the players’ union feels about this. On one hand, Embiid is doing what he wants and – deservedly – looking good in the process. On the other hand, this effectively amounts to a giveback of collectively bargained compensation to ownership. Again, these are Harris’ employees, not Embiid’s.