Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving Commits $1.5 Million to Support WNBA Players

Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 14: Kyrie Irving (11) of the Brooklyn Nets takes the court against the Denver Nuggets during the first quarter on Thursday, November 14, 2019. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving has committed $1.5 million for WNBA players who have opted out of the 2020 season. Shams Charania of The Athletic was among the first to report the news, stating that the funds will support the players that opt-out due to professional or health-related reasons.

Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving Commits $1.5 Million to Support WNBA

Kyrie Irving’s Initiative To Distribute $1.5 Million Fund

The funds are distributed through the KAI Empowerment Initiative launched by Irving. He wanted to help with the financial burden, in a league where WNBA players top salary is around $200,000. He also wanted to support those who have made the sacrifice to sit out to fight for social justice.

WNBA players will have to apply for the fund by August 11th and will be notified by August 24th if they qualified for the fund.

Playing Basketball During Unprecedented Times

The restart of the NBA and the start of the WNBA season during the coronavirus pandemic and times of social injustice has always been a reminder to players and the world that what’s going on is much bigger than basketball.

What makes Irving’s gesture so significant is that he has been outspoken on social justice issues numerous times. He also has given his opinions on whether playing basketball is the right thing to do during these times.

Irving hopes that this initiative will fully support players that have brought a great light into these issues and are using their careers as a platform to help many communities.

Washington Mystics guard Natasha Cloud and Atlanta Dream guard Renee Montgomery have both opted out to fight for social reform. Liz Cambage, Tina Charles, and Kristi Toliver have opted out due to health reasons.

Still, the WNBA has made a firm message that they will use their platform to educate others about racism and inequality in the world. The 2020 WNBA season tipped off Saturday, as players wore jerseys with “Breonna Taylor” on the back, to honor the 26-year-old EMT that was killed by the hand of the police in Louisville.

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Loreal Nix is a student at Central Michigan University majoring in Journalism with a minor in Broadcast and Cinematic Arts. You can usually find Loreal drawing, writing non-stop, or watching endless NBA games. Loreal strives to share her love of basketball as a sports journalist/analyst. She solely believes that any woman can pursue a journalism career in a male-dominated field being 100% themselves, not conforming to social standards. She recently started her own personal blog titled "Live In The Mix", which is featured on her social media.

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