Jrue and Lauren Holiday using $5 million NBA bubble salary to start social justice fund

Liz Roscher
·3 min read

Jrue Holiday and his wife, Lauren, have decided to dedicate Holiday’s NBA bubble salary to starting a social justice fund aimed at supporting and continuing the Black Lives Matter movement.

The New Orleans Pelicans guard told ESPN on Wednesday that he and Lauren, a retired USWNT soccer player, are starting the Jrue and Lauren Holiday Social Justice Impact Fund, and using his remaining NBA bubble paychecks — which the NBPA estimates could be as much as $5.3 million — to do it.

The fund will focus on three cities: New Orleans, Indianapolis, and Los Angeles. New Orleans was chosen because Holiday currently plays there, Indianapolis was chosen because Lauren is from there, and Los Angeles was chosen because Holiday is from there — plus, he and Lauren met there while they were both attending UCLA.

Holiday spoke to ESPN about what inspired him and Lauren to start the fund.

"Honestly, when it came down to it, it was me and my wife talking about what we could do to kind of further this movement and progression and being able to help out our community and just being able to help," Jrue Holiday told ESPN.

"We were just kind of sitting in the house, in the bed, thinking about it, and my wife said, 'I think you should do this and you should do the rest of your salary.' That's a great idea. Because we want to make an impact. God has blessed us with so much. We know a couple of things that are important are time and money, and right now, we have both. To be able to give away our money to help further this movement and Black-owned businesses that have taken a hit in COVID-19, to us, it felt like the perfect time and opportunity."

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 06: (L-R) Jrue Holiday, daughter J.T. and wife Lauren Holiday smile during the NBA Summer League on July 06, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images)
Jrue Holiday, daughter J.T. and wife Lauren Holiday smile during the NBA Summer League in 2019 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images)

The Holidays will be giving various chunks of money in each of the three cities to Black-owned businesses, nonprofit organizations, and initiatives focused on bringing about “equitable outcomes for Black and Brown communities.” A million dollars will be given to Black-owned businesses in an additional 10 cities, and $500,000 will be donated to historically Black colleges and universities.

Holiday told ESPN that he and Lauren struggled with how to help further the current movement, since Lauren’s pregnancy didn’t allow them to participate in any rallies or marches. He also seriously considered sitting out the NBA restart in Orlando. With the Jrue and Lauren Holiday Social Justice Impact Fund, Holiday can play while helping the movement.

"With everything going on in this world, it made me and my wife realize that we aren't invested in our community as we feel we should be," Holiday told ESPN. "This is one of those times to really, even though it's kind of a kick in the pants, you kind of feel like I should've known this or I should've been doing this before. But you're never too late. This is our time to contribute."

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