There’s no denying the impact that the Oklahoma City Thunder have had on the COVID-19 response to the United States.
Now, the team’s response is having an impact on an important member of the franchise: its employees.
The official Thunder Twitter account released a statement on Friday that read as follows:
“Our game-night staff are vital to the game experience and are part of our Thunder family, whether they are employed by the Thunder or by ASM Global, the company contracted by the City of Oklahoma City to operate the arena. To help them during this time of uncertainty, the Thunder will offer them financial assistance. The plan includes providing financial assistance to the part-time staff who work directly for the Thunder each game night and will potentially miss the remainder of the regular season, seven home games. The Thunder also will provide financial assistance to the additional part-time arena employees who work for and are paid by ASM Global and who also will potentially miss those seven games. Distribution of those funds is to be coordinated by ASM Global.”
The Thunder’s decision to do this now confirms that all 30 NBA teams will financially support their workers during these uncertain times.
The plan to pay employees was popularized by Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban during the Maverick’s March 11th game vs. the Denver Nuggets.
“I reached out to the folks at the arena and our folks at the Mavs to find out what it would cost to financially support people who aren’t going to be able to come to work — you know, they get paid by the hour, and this is their source of income,” Cuban said that night. “We’ll do some things there. We may ask them to go do some volunteer work in exchange, but we’ve already started the process of having a program in place. I don’t have any details to give, but it’s certainly something that’s important to me.”