Zion Williamson Pledges to Cover Salaries of Pelicans’ Home Arena Workers

Zion Williamson (1) with Duke Blue Devils in March 2019. Photo by Jacob Kupferman/CSM/REX/Shutterstock (10157476ah)

Everyone who works in New Orleans Pelicans’ Smoothie King Center doesn’t have to worry whether the coronavirus pandemic will affect their paycheck for this month. Pelicans’ rookie Zion Williamson recently went on social media pledged to pay the salaries of the team arena’s staff.

“I am pledging to cover the salaries for all of those Smoothie King Center workers for the next 30 days,” Williamson wrote on Instagram. “This is a small way for me to express my support and appreciation for these wonderful people who have been so great to me and my teammates and hopefully we can all join together to relieve some of the stress and hardship caused by this national health crisis.”

With this move, Williamson, who was No. 1 overall pick in 2019, joined the number of other NBA stars who are making humanitarian efforts in these rough times. Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo and Detroit Pistons’ Blake Griffin were among the first NBA players to make donations to cover salaries of workers in their home arenas, while some found other ways to help.

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, who was the first player to test positive for coronavirus, donated $500K for different purposes, while Golden State Warriors owners, players, and the front office decided to donate $1 million to a disaster relief fund for Chase Center employees.

Minnesota Timberwolves star center Karl-Anthony Towns, on the other hand, pledged $100,000 to the Mayo Clinic in order to help them roll out tests for coronavirus faster.