Hornets ownership, players team up to create fund for part-time employees

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Charlotte Hornets' Devonte' Graham (4) waves to the fans as he celebrates his free throws, while Terry Rozier (3) and Bismack Biyombo (8) join the celebration of the team's 122-120 overtime win against the Indiana Pacers in an NBA basketball game. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

Hornets Sports and Entertainment, its ownership team and players from the Charlotte Hornets have teamed up to establish a fund that will provide financial assistance to part-time employees who have been adversely affected by the loss of games and events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the team announced in a press release on Sunday.

Hornets players reportedly decided to contribute to this fund as a team, without the amount donated by each individual player being announced so as to avoid the optics of competing and self-promotion, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

The fund is intended to provide compensation for lost wages for employees scheduled to work at Hornets games, Greenboro Swarm games — Charlotte’s G League affiliate — as well as part-time workers who would have staffed events and concerts at the Spectrum Center, the Hornets’ home arena.

Over 500 part-time staff stand to benefit from the fund, including but not limited to ushers, ticket takers, box office attendants, entertainers, public safety officers, retail staff, guest services personnel and technical operators.

According to the Hornets, the fund will ensure Swarm part-time staff are paid through the end of March, while Hornets part-time staff will be compensated until the originally-scheduled end of the regular season, April 13.

Establishing the fund makes the Hornets the latest NBA organization to enact a plan for assisting workers adversely affected by the NBA’s shutdown due to the novel coronavirus.

Yesterday, the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers joined forces with the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings to create a fund to support Staples Center employees as well. Meanwhile in Dallas, Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, initiated a policy whereby Mavericks employees would be reimbursed for breakfasts and lunches they purchased from local, independent restaurants.

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