We had gotten away from doing the Power Person of the Month, but it is time for it to make a return. for July, we are highlighting Kyrie Irving.
The Nets' star point guard is changing the world off the basketball court. While we marvel at his ability to dribble past defenders and make acrobatic layups, this time it is not his play that has captured our attention, but his philanthropy and stance on social justice.
Since the world shut down for the pandemic, Irving has been making his rounds in the news even with a stoppage in basketball. Throughout the pandemic, Irving has donated his personal funds to help those who are in need or causes close to his heart. At the beginning of coronavirus pandemic, Irving donated $323,000 to combat food insecurity. Also, Irving donated 200,000 Beyond Meat burgers in NYC, his new home, the place hardest hit by the pandemic in its early phases. These donations proved to be very beneficial in helping to feed those in grave need.
During the pandemic, social justice issues have been widely publicized and talked about. Irving was not shy about voicing his concerns with this either. He stated the season did not need to restart, so the Black community can keep the focus on the fight for change. He pushed for players to begin their own league, since Black players are the majority. Also, related to social justice, Irving produced a TV mandating action in the death of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman who was shot eight times on March 13 in Louisville, Kentucky, by plainclothes officers serving a drug search warrant without knocking at her apartment.
Yesterday, Kyrie shocked the world; he is creating a fund of $1.5 million dollars to help WNBA players who decide to opt-out of the 2020-21 season due to pandemic concerns. This is HUGE news because these women are moms or have other health issues that make them high risk to contract the virus and being out in a pandemic can be detrimental to them and their families. The funds will come from the KAI (Kyrie Andrew Irving) Empowerment Initiative that Irving launched Monday (yesterday). It will also provide players with a financial literacy program created by UBS.
Kyrie said, "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.''
Thank you, Kyrie! We appreciate your help, voice, and action.