In times of overwhelming uncertainty, Cleveland Cavaliers player Kevin Love is paying it forward.
After the NBA announced the immediate suspension of the 2020 season due to the coronavirus outbreak, Love pledged $100,000 to the Cavs arena and support staff impacted by the shutdown. He shared the news in a heartwarming Instagram post on Thursday.
"Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. And the fear and anxiety resulting from the recent outbreak of COVID-19 can be extremely overwhelming," he wrote. Through the game of basketball, we've been able to address major issues and stand together as a progressive league that cares about the players, the fans, and the communities where we work."
"I'm concerned about the level of anxiety that everyone is feeling and that is why I'm committing $100,000 through the @KevinLoveFund in support of the @Cavs arena and support staff that had a sudden life shift due to the suspension of the NBA season. I hope that during this time of crisis, others will join me in supporting our communities," Love continued.
The athlete's message concluded with a plea for more empathy and kindness as officials works to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
"Pandemics are not just a medical phenomenon. They affect individuals and society on so many levels, with stigma and xenophobia being just two aspects of the impact of a pandemic outbreak. It's important to know that those with a mental illness may be vulnerable to the effects of widespread panic and threat. Be kind to one another. Be understanding of their fears, regardless if you don't feel the same. Be safe and make informed decisions during this time. And I encourage everyone to take care of themselves and to reach out to others in need -- whether that means supporting your local charities that are canceling events, or checking in on your colleagues and family," Love shared.
The NBA suspension was decided in part after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for coronavirus. He issued a apology for potentially exposing others to the virus through what he described as "careless" behavior.
On Monday, Gobert ignored the NBA's temporary rules requiring members of the media stay six to eight feet away from players by purposefully touching the microphones and recorders at a post-practice interview. His teammate, Donovan Mitchell, has also since tested positive for coronavirus.
"I have gone through so many emotions since learning of my diagnosis…mostly fear, anxiety, and embarrassment," Gobert shared on Instagram. "The first and most important thing is I would like to publicly apologize to the people that I may have endangered. At the time, I had no idea I was even infected. I was careless and make no excuse. I hope my story serves as a warning and causes everyone to take this seriously. I will do whatever I can to support using my experience as way to educate others and prevent the spread of this virus."