SEATTLE, Washington — Due to the global pandemic and requirements for social distancing, several professional sports leagues suspended their 2020 season. From NBA players to potential participants in the Tokyo Olympics, millions of star athletes across the globe are unable to professionally compete or perform any sport. While fans and supporters are unable to watch their star players on television, professional athletes are finding ways to support those in need during the global pandemic. Here are 10 examples of star athletes helping out during COVID-19.
10 Star Athletes Helping out During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Hockey stars of the Pittsburgh Penguins purchased 500 pizzas for distribution. Star athletes on the Pittsburgh Penguin hockey team, Bryan Rust, Zach Aston-Reese and Marcus Pettersson, provided a generous donation of 500 pizzas to their local community. The star athletes had the pizzas delivered to community distribution centers in the Northside Pittsburgh district.
- Joyce Sombroek, an Olympic gold medalist hockey goalie, works on the front line of Amsterdam hospitals. Sombroek was a gold medalist in the London 2012 Olympics and silver medalist in Rio de Janeiro 2016. She completed her medical studies after retiring from being one of the world’s best goalkeepers. The Dutch athlete continues to fight against COVID-19 as she works on the front line in the emergency department.
- Jarvis Landry donated $15,000 worth of hygiene products for East Cleveland schools. As numerous U.S. citizens struggle to purchase groceries and hygiene products, star athlete Jarvis Landry donated thousands of dollars worth of hygiene products for students and families within East Cleveland schools.
- Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres captain, provided more than 5,000 masks to show appreciation to New York hospitals. As personal protective equipment (PPE) is in short supply, the star athlete donated thousands of masks to hospitals in Western New York, hoping to provide assistance and relief during the pandemic.
- Paula Pareto, Argentina’s reigning Olympic judo champion, works to fight against COVID-19 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. As the world entered this global pandemic, Pareto hoped to contribute to the fight against COVID-19. She traveled to the San Isidro Hospital to work as an orthopedic doctor. While orthopedic doctors are not necessarily on the front line, Pareto hopes to contribute her skills to the health team facing the pandemic.
- Ben Simmons launched The Philly Pledge as a way to direct funding towards COVID-19 research. In March 2020, Ben Simmons, a basketball player for the Philadelphia 76ers, dedicated his time to launching The Philly Pledge, a platform on social media that directed funds specifically to COVID-19 research. Through the star athlete’s pledge, Simmons had raised more than $350,000 by April 2020.
- Chicago Cubs player Jason Heyward donated roughly $200,000 to coronavirus relief in Chicago. While the MLB season has come to a halt, star athlete Jason Heyward hopes to provide those in need during this difficult and time. The athlete has donated roughly $200,000 to coronavirus relief. He split it between two organizations: the Greater Chicago Food Depository and MASK. Mask is an organization that hopes to provide necessities to those impacted by COVID-19.
- Texas Longhorns’ quarterback Sam Ehlinger created a GoFundMe. On March 25, 2020, star athlete Sam Ehlinger started a GoFundMe to provide COVID-19 relief to citizens severely impacted by the pandemic. As of June 2020, Ehlinger’s GoFundMe had raised more than $105,000.
- Justin Verlander donates MLB checks to charitable causes. As millions of citizens struggle financially during the pandemic, Justin Verlander decided to donate his MLB paychecks even after his season was suspended. The star athlete created a pledge via social media to donate each check to a different organization fighting COVID-19.
- New Orleans NBA player D.J. Augustin provided meal support for frontline hospital workers. Augustin’s hometown of New Orleans has been very hard-hit by COVID-19. To provide pandemic relief, the NBA player made a generous donation to Krew of Red Beans, an organization that focuses on supporting hunger in New Orleans. Augustin aimed to help feed frontline workers in hospitals throughout New Orleans.
COVID-19 continues to impact the lives of millions of citizens worldwide. However, several star athletes are using their voices and platforms to provide all the relief they can. From generous donations to the creation of social media pledges, professional athletes are helping to those impacted by COVID-19.
– Elisabeth Balicanta