NEW YORK (AP) — Kyrie Irving is making sure WNBA players can sit out the season and not stress about a paycheck.
The Brooklyn Nets star is committing $1.5 million to supplement the income of players who choose not to play this season, whether it be because of coronavirus concerns or social justice reasons.
The funds will come from the KAI Empowerment Initiative that Irving launched Monday. It will also provide players with a financial literacy program created by UBS.
Irving said that with the help of WNBA players Natasha Cloud — who chose to sit out — and Jewell Loyd, he connected with several WNBA players who discussed with him the challenges they faced in deciding whether to play. The season began Saturday and will be played entirely at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
He decided to help with the financial burden in a league where the top annual salary is a little more than $200,000.
“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 such as Cloud and Atlanta’s Renee Montgomery opted against playing for social reform reasons, though it’s unclear how many will qualify for Irving’s program.
To be eligible, players must provide insight into the circumstances surrounding their decision and not be receiving salary support from any other entity. An opt-out for medical reasons must be connected to the coronavirus pandemic.
Players can get information at www.kaiempowermentinitiative.com. They need to apply by Aug. 11 and recipients will be notified on Aug. 24.
Irving is not with the Nets for the restart of the NBA season as he recovers from shoulder surgery. He has been outspoken about social justice issues and recently produced a TV special calling for action in the death of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black emergency medical technician who was shot eight times in Louisville, Kentucky, on March 13 by plainclothes officers serving a narcotics search warrant without knocking at her apartment. No drugs were found.
WNBA players wore Taylor’s name on their jerseys during opening weekend.
Bodycam video released of Andre Leshon Lee who lost consciousness when arrested but died 5 days later in Dallas PD custody, Report
The Dallas Police Department has released a video of Andre Leshon Lee who they say lost consciousness shortly after being taken into custody on August 28. The video released clearly shows he lost consciousness at the site where he was arrested.
The report goes on to say Lee died September 2 in police custody a week after losing consciousness. Something doesn’t add up here.
According to Fox 4 the investigation by Dallas police into Lee’s death, he and his wife were driving the night of August 28, when his wife said he got out of the car and started running.
Morehouse School of Medicine students get surprise news that $26M gift will help pay off their debt
ATLANTA — It’s a major gift to an Atlanta-based historically Black college aimed at helping close the gap in medical disparities in America.
On Wednesday, Morehouse School of Medicine announced they received a $26.3-million donation from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the organization founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Apalachee Elementary assistant principal Nikki Bradley under fire for monkey post about black students
According to WCTV Leon County school administrators, Thursday publicly detailed the investigation of an assistant principal’s Facebook post that lead to a reprimand and demotion.
The district received multiple complaints about the post by Apalachee Elementary assistant principal Nikki Bradley.
Bradley wrote this message on her personal Facebook page:
“For a while now, I have felt like Ringmaster of the ****show. Today has done me in! I do not want to be ringmaster, someone come get the monkeys and all the circus friends.
#exhausted #goawaycovid #imgoingtobed”
“It’s important to clarify for the record what took place, the investigation that happened, and what discipline we have enforced,” said Superintendent Rocky Hanna in a Facebook live on Thursday.
The district’s Director of Labor and Employee Relations, Deana McAllister, says an investigation determined the post “was not meant to be divisive or hurtful, nor racially motivated.”
McAllister says the post did show a lack of professionalism and poor judgement, leading to a formal reprimand and demotion of Bradley. She was reassigned from Apalachee Elementary to Killearn Lakes.