The NBA Really Does Care
Here’s a story you probably won’t hear much about.
The NBA and the NBA Players Association announced this afternoon that it will contribute $1 million to the relief efforts of the recent tragedy in Haiti. According to a release, the league and the Players Association has joined forces with longtime community Partner UNICEF and other relief agencies to provide emergency assistance to the estimated three million victims of the country’s catastrophic quake.
As someone close to me put it, while soliciting my prayers for families and friends, “This is Katrina times thousands! Give generously!!”
The NBA has done just that. But, because of Gilbert Arenas, it’ll be back page news — at best.
Casual consumers often find easy excuses to hold disdain for the NBA, getting turned off by actions of the Arenas’ and Artests’ of the league. But those same detractors often ignore or dismiss the league’s efforts when it steps up and shows support for so many.
While Arenas’ guilty plea on felony gun charges continues dominating headlines and highlight shows, the NBA will continue summoning fan support for even more relief efforts. Prior to tonight’s Philadelphia-Sacramento game, Sixers center Samuel Dalembert, a native of Haiti, will address the Wachovia Center crowd and ask for further fan assistance. Dalembert, who recorded the PSA below to drum up more support, also is presenting a $100,000 donation to UNICEF President and CEO Caryl Stern before tip-off. UNICEF will have volunteers throughout the arena to collect fan donations, and Dalembert will match all donations made by fans tonight.
“NBA players are deeply affected by this tragedy,” said Los Angeles Lakers guard and NBA Players Association President Derek Fisher. “We hope our contribution helps provide relief to those suffering in Haiti.”
To learn more about the NBA’s efforts or how you can help, call 1-800-4UNICEF or log on to nba.com.
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