Kyrie Irving is putting his money where his mouth is.
The Brooklyn Nets star pledged $1.5 million to supplement the income of WNBA players who decided to sit this season out due to the coronavirus outbreak or the fight for social justice.
Irving launched the KAI Empowerment Initiative, which will cover the generous donation and provide a financial literacy program to players.
Kyrie joined forces with Natasha Cloud, Jewell Loyd, and several other WNBA players who discussed the challenges they faced while deciding on whether to play or not. The season began Saturday and will be played entirely at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
“Whether a person decided to fight for social justice, play basketball, focus on physical or mental health, or simply connect with their families, this initiative can hopefully support their priorities and decisions,” Irving said in a statement.
Players’ eligibility depends on their decision to opt-out of the season, and they can’t be receiving compensation from another entity. If a player is out for medical reasons, it has to be related to the coronavirus to be eligible for the program.
Players have until August 11th to apply and will be notified if they were accepted by August 24th.
Kyrie Irving is currently recovering from a shoulder injury and didn’t return with the Nets for the restart of the NBA season. He has been very vocal about recent social justice issues and produced a TV special calling for justice for Breonna Taylor.