Jeremy Jacobs' actions are shameful. Full Stop. End of discussion.
The dead ringer for Montgomery Burns of Simpons fame is reportedly worth 3.3 billion dollars and is the only owner in sports stiffing his staff.
I thought about piling on here, but honestly, Chris Gasper of the Boston Globe did the work for all of us. Plus, I can't compete with Gasper's Webster's Dictionary brain.
I do, however, think it is important to point out that not every owner, team, or league in sports is filled with self-centered, rapacious, me-before-them jerks.
The minute the NBA announced it would indefinitely postpone its season, a number of prominent players jumped into action.
It began with Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers pledging $100,000 to the event staff working at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Love was followed by dozens of players and teams committing resources to make sure their game-day employees did not lose money during this uncertain time.
This included Celtics owners Wyc Grousbeck and Steve Pagliuca. Grousbeck, whose net worth is estimated at 400 million dollars - and Pagliuca with an estimated net worth of 450 million dollars - agreed to advance funds to their game-day employees for the remaining nine games on the schedule. These workers will receive regular paychecks as though the Celtics were still playing.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban (reported net worth of 4.3 billion dollars) will not only pay his arena staff while games are postponed, but he's supporting local businesses as well. Cuban is reimbursing Mavericks employees for breakfasts and lunches purchased from Dallas-area restaurants.
Major League Baseball and its Players Association also jumped in early to assist those financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
MLB as a whole donated one million dollars to Feeding America and Meals on Wheels.
"In these difficult times of navigating this pandemic, it is important that we come together as a society to help the most vulnerable members of our communities," said MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred in a statement, "As an institution, Baseball is extending our commitment to addressing childhood hunger and food availability issues during this crisis. We are grateful for the partnership with our players on this critical issue, which has the potential to deeply affect children and seniors."
Additionally, each MLB team donated one million dollars for a total of $30 million to support ballpark staff during the shutdown.
The fortunate helping the unfortunate. Novel idea.
The giving didn't stop there. A group of nearly 100 athletes including David Ortiz, Rob Gronkowski, Patrick Chung, and Aly Raisman are taking part in the Athletes for COVID-19 relief fund.
Each of the Boston stars donated autographed items. Anyone who donates a minimum of $25 will be entered to win memorabilia. Proceeds will go to those directly affected right now, as well as health professionals on the front lines. The fund is also set up to help vulnerable students from falling behind in school and small businesses making a comeback.
Yesterday, Roger Federer donated $1 million to support the "most vulnerable families in Switzerland" and encouraged others to follow his lead.
It's not only athletes and owners walking the walk.
Boston-based New Balance pledged $2 million to charities worldwide during the pandemic. Those benefitting locally from the athletic company's generosity are the Boston Resiliency Fund and Groundwork Lawrence.
Nike is assisting in a different way. The sports behemoth is exploring how it can help in making PPE (personal protective equipment) for frontline health workers. Nike is currently working on a prototype for a face shield with Oregon Health and Science University.
While this time is filled with uncertainty and anxiety, I'm continually impressed with the ways we have found to help each other.
Once again, sports are leading the way.
When the games restart, I hope we remember who cheered on their fans during this difficult time and who didn't show up for the fight of a lifetime.