NBA player pledges to pay arena staff’s salaries

Williamson made the pledge on his Instagram account. (AP pic)

SINGAPORE: New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson has promised to cover the staff salaries at the Smoothie King Center for 30 days amid a worsening coronavirus epidemic.

Williamson is pledging to help Smoothie King Center staff who are still “recovering from long term challenges” created by Hurricane Katrina, and now facing the economic impact of the virus fallout, according an Instagram post.

“My mother has always set an example for me about being respectful for others and being grateful for what we have, and so today I am pledging to cover the salaries for all of those Smoothie King Center workers for the next 30 days,” Williamson wrote.

“These are the folks who make our games possible, creating the perfect environment for our fans and everyone involved in the organization.”

American sports have ground to a halt, with the National Basketball Association among a throng of groups that have suspended their seasons as infections climb. A player on the Utah Jazz team had preliminarily tested positive for coronavirus, the association said in a statement Wednesday.

The NBA will use the hiatus to determine the next steps for moving forward, the organisation said earlier this week.