Kyrie Irving Commits $1.5 Million To WNBA Players Opting To Sit Out 2020 Season

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We’re just one month removed from reports of Kyrie Irving feeling attacked and skapegoated over his wishes to halt the continuation of the NBA season to shine a brighter light on racial injustice.

Kyrie’s wishes remain unanswered, as the NBA is set to resume regular season games on July 30, so the 28-year-old guard is setting his sight’s on his female counterparts.

Irving has committed $1.5 million to help support the income of WNBA players who have chosen to opt out of their 2020 season, whether because of coronavirus concerns or social justice reasons.

“Whether a person decided to fight for social justice, play basketball, focus on physical or mental health, or simply connect with their families, this initiative can hopefully support their priorities and decisions,” Irving said in a statement.

According to ESPN, the funds will be derived from the KAI Empowerment Initiative that Irving launched Monday, and will provide players with a financial literacy program created by UBS.

To be eligible, players must provide insight into the circumstances surrounding their decision and not be receiving salary support from any other entity. An opt-out for medical reasons must be connected to the coronavirus pandemic.

The WNBA season began Saturday, with the New York Liberty and Seattle Storm staging a walk-off during the national anthem. WNBA players Natasha Cloud and Atlanta’s Renee Montgomery have already opted against playing for social reform reasons, but it remains ambiguous how many other players will opt into Kyrie’s program before the August 11 deadline.


Kyrie’s money can go a long way in a league where the top annual salary is a hair over $200,000, with the average cash compensation for players averaging $130,000 after January’s CBA agreement. By those numbers, Kyrie’s pledge could pay the entire season’s salary for nearly 12 players.

Kyrie’s act of generosity was met with some criticism, as with everything else he does.

The dude can’t escape it.

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Matt’s love of writing was born during a sixth grade assembly when it was announced that his essay titled “Why Drugs Are Bad” had taken first prize in D.A.R.E.’s grade-wide contest. The anti-drug people gave him a $50 savings bond for his brave contribution to crime-fighting, and upon the bond’s maturity 10 years later, he used it to buy his very first bag of marijuana.