In case you’ve been hiding under a Georgios Papagiannis-sized rock over the last few days, on Wednesday evening the NBA announced a hiatus of “at least 30 days” due to coronavirus concerns after Utah Jazz stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell tested positive for the highly contagious virus. After the initial shock wore off, one of the most immediate concerns of fan bases around the world was the day-to-day people affected by the league’s temporary closure. Athletes, coaches, and management of teams would still be paid, but would the part-time, hourly workers be forgotten in the chaos?
Thankfully, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban immediately announced that he was putting together a plan to take care of his arena staff and several teams have followed suit over the last couple of days, including the Sacramento Kings. Through a Twitter reply on Friday morning, the team announced that all part-time, hourly employees would be compensated for their scheduled shifts in March.
We are committed to assisting all of our employees through this uncertain time. All part-time, hourly Kings event team members will be compensated for the shifts they were previously scheduled to work in March.— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) March 13, 2020
As someone who has been highly critical of this organization and leadership team, I can’t lend enough praise to Vivek Ranadive’s continued, positive impact in the Sacramento community, even when the results on the hardwood haven’t lived up to expectations. It may feel a little simplistic to praise hundred-millionaires and billionaires for taking care of folks struggling to make ends meet, but in today’s financial and political climate, that’s unfortunately become the exception to the rule. Our ownership group had no obligation, legal or otherwise, to take care of their arena crew, as they could have just stayed quiet and let the fervor die down, but they chose to do the right thing, and that deserves recognition.
With everything going on in the world right now, one positive piece of news is certainly worth acknowledging. Props to the Kings.