Sportress of Blogitude

Joel Embiid opens up about $500K donation for COVID-19 relief

Joel Embiid was among the first NBA players to step up in a major way by opening up his wallet to help those most severely impacted by the then-developing coronavirus pandemic.

The Philadelphia 76ers superstar’s $500,000 donation in late March provided relief to front-line workers in health care and first responders as well as employees who relied upon the team to earn a living.

Embiid opened up about his charitable gesture earlier this week in an interview with Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal, during which he praised those battling the COVID-19 outbreak as “real-life superheroes.”

“When the NBA put the season on hold, I literally couldn’t believe it. If something could shut down the NBA, then I really needed to understand it,” Embiid said. “As I am lucky to be in a position to help, I immediately wanted to know how best I could help. As the virus continues to spread, the biggest thing to me was how to better prepare those who are putting their lives on the line for us.”

Embiid went on to explain how his generous donation was used as it relates to “getting equipment and medical supplies and supporting antibody testing for Philadelphia doctors, nurses, and other providers” amid the pandemic.

“I learned that #FirstRespondersFirst could get PPE directly to front-line health care workers in Pennsylvania, and serving my community was extremely important to me,” Embiid added. “I also donated to Penn Medicine to help implement blood tests that measure antibodies to determine who has been exposed to the virus and who is likely immune. Sending PPE kits and funding antibody testing will ultimately allow us to protect health care workers on the front lines in real time.”

Professional sports organizations in Philadelphia have rallied around the region’s front-line workers, even collaborating on a video in which gratitude is expressed for the tireless efforts of healthcare workers, firefighters, law enforcement, bus drivers and the countless others serving the community during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The case can be made that Embiid got the ball rolling in Philly with his admirable, initial efforts to raise awareness, not to mention sizable donation.