Williamson Will Pay Salaries of Smoothie King Center Employees for 30 Days

NEW ORLEANS – At the end of a chaotic and stressful week, New Orleans Pelicans rookie sensation Zion Williamson posted a welcome bit of good news on Instagram:

“The people of New Orleans have been incredibly welcoming and supportive since I was drafted by the Pels last June,” he said. “And some of the most special people I have met are those who work at smoothie King Center. These are the folks who make our games possible, creating the perfect environment for our fans and everyone involved in the organization. Unfortunately, many of them are still recovering from long term challenges created by Katrina, and now face the economic impact of the postponement of games because of the virus. My mother has always set an example for me about being respectful for others and being grateful for what we have, and so today I am pledging to cover the salaries for all of those Smoothie King Center workers for the next 30 days. 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. This is an incredibly resilient city full of some of the most resilient people, but sometimes providing a little extra assistance can make things a little easier for the community.”

On Wednesday, the NBA decided to suspend the remainder of the season after a player tested positive for the coronavirus. Many sports leagues have followed suit as the country grapples with ways to halt the “community spread” of a virus that has so far infected 130,000 people and killed approximately 5,000 worldwide.

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