On March 11th, the NBA announced that it would be suspending the season as a result of the Coronavirus, and multiple professional sports leagues followed suit. In the time since, many people have transitioned to working from home, while other jobs have been dropped or suspended indefinitely. Wednesday afternoon the Miami Heat released an official statement regarding the fate of the team and arena part-time employee's pay.
Just a week ago, the Miami Heat was beginning to regain its footing from a few health issues in its roster. Tyler Herro had just come back from an ankle injury and veteran Andre Iguodala was just beginning to incorporate himself with his new team.
As of now, the Heat are in fourth place in the Eastern Conference and poised for a competitive run into the playoffs, should the NBA decide to play the remainder of the season out.
But what happens to the players, staff, and crew while the Heat are on break? What about the vendors throughout the American Airlines Arena who will not be able to do business during this time in which stadiums are closed?
All of these questions were answered by an official Miami Heat statement released Wednesday afternoon.
"The Miami Heat and AmericanAirlines Arena announced that they will be providing disaster relief assistance to team and arena part-time employees as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic..." the statement reads.
"The team and arena will provide funds to their partners including food and beverage concessionaire, security, and housekeeping to assist workers during this challenging and unprecedented situation."
The statement continues, "The Micky & Madeleine Arison Family Foundation will also donate an additional $1 million to the Miami Heat Charitable Fund at the Miami Foundation to establish an initiative designed specifically for employees and/or other community needs."
Hot dog vendors, janitors, and attendants throughout the arena will not have to worry about missing any paychecks throughout the suspension period.
The Heat message rides the same wavelength as David Beckham's sentiments about how sport takes a back seat during times like these. The Miami team has also posted regular updates and announcements to their Twitter feed.
This news extends a helping hand to their employees and community. While the situation will impact everyone differently, we know the Heat players have found unique ways to spend their time during the NBA break.