By: A. Balaji
In these troubling times, where the whole world is still uncertain of the future to come, sporting stars have opened their hearts showing immense acts of kindness and generosity. Athletes and teams around the world have contributed to hospitals, stadium workers, and others affected by COVID-19. Their acts of selflessness have shown the whole world that millionaires, or not, we are all humans and we have to help each other. Below are a few examples of the amazing deeds sportsmen are carrying out across the world.
The tennis global arena has seen the sport’s wealthiest come together to donate massive amounts of money towards the fight against the COVID - 19 pandemic. The big three, Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal, and Novack Djokovic have each pledged money towards the cause in each athlete’s native country. Novak Djokovic pledged one million euros ($1.11 million) to help buy medical equipment in his native Serbia, while Rafa Nadal has called on fellow Spanish athletes to help raise 11 million euros to fight the pandemic. The other member, Roger Federer, has contributed one million Swiss Francs ($1.05 million) to help vulnerable families in his native Switzerland. But these are not the only stars to dig deep into their pockets. 2019 Wimbledon champion Simona Halep announced that she would help support funds to buy medical equipment in her home nation Romania.
The NBA has also had a great share of players uniting for a single cause. A union of players has pledged to help local food banks or supports stadium workers who have been hit hard by the pandemic. Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry has committed to donating one million meals to the Alameda County Community Food Bank for children in the Oakland Unified School District. Zach Levine, from the Chicago Bulls, pledged to donate 12,500 meals to people in need in Seattle. But it’s not only the players who are mobilizing during this crisis. Franchises are also playing an essential role in supporting the efforts. The Dallas Mavericks, Sacramento Kings, Philadelphia 76ers, and Washington Wizards have also all pledged to help arena workers until the season resumes and the league was working in partnership with them.
But the sport which has seen the most reaction and solidarity is definitely football. With the season at hold, footballers from all countries have poured in their efforts to help those in need. Clubs across Europe and abroad have announced massive pay cuts to support the club staff who are deeply affected by this stagnation. To name a few, Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich have all resorted to wage cuts in the hope of sustaining those families. The two most respected stars in the footballing world have also done their part: Lionel Messi has donated $1.2 million to hospitals in Barcelona and his native Argentina while Cristiano Ronaldo and his agent have pledged $1.1 million to intensive care units in hospitals in Lisbon and Porto.
The players who have joined the efforts are countless and range across all sports. These actions have taught us how in times of crisis, our only hope in overcoming this situation is by acting together.