NBA’s Jrue Holiday gives rest of 2020 salary to Black businesses, groups

The Milwaukee Bucks star says he'll donate the rest of his earnings this year to Black-owned businesses, nonprofits and initiatives

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Milwaukee Bucks star Jrue Holiday wasn’t yet on the team when they spearheaded a historic sports boycott in August when players refused to come out to play an NBA playoffs game after the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. But the former New Orleans Pelicans guard is already showing that he supports the team’s effort to forge better racial relations.

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On his Instagram, he and his wife Lauren announced their intention to donate the rest of Holiday’s 2020 NBA salary to Black-owned businesses, initiatives and nonprofits. He said he was motivated by both the pandemic and national reckoning on race as protesters, driven to action by the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, took to the streets for months-long demonstrations.

The guard did not disclose the amount gifted by his wife and himself.

“With the COVID-19 Pandemic and heightened racial injustices in 2020, many of us have been looking for answers. Lauren & I found ourselves searching for ways to help our community at a time when they needed it most,” Holiday, 30, wrote on his Instagram account. “Pledging the remainder of our 2020 NBA salary to small black owned businesses, nonprofits and initiatives is how we felt we could make a lasting impact.”

His post continued: “According to @google, in 2020, worldwide searches for ‘support small business’ doubled compared to the previous year. It’s encouraging to know that in a time when we could all use a helping hand, we are still searching for ways to help one another. Know that you are not alone in your search for answers.”

Holiday’s donation should be a boon to those organizations as his NBA salary for the 2020-2021 season is $26,285,000, according to sports contracts tracker Spotrac. The Pelicans traded Holiday, a Los Angeles native, to the Bucks last month.

The NBA, coming off a season that was delayed and shortened due to the coronavirus pandemic, is set to begin the 2020-2021 season on Dec. 22. The truncated season was resumed in the so-called NBA” bubble” at a facility in Orlando, Florida where players, staff and media were sequestered to finish out the season with limited teams.

Players lived in the bubble without family or visitors until the playoffs began, effectively stopping the transmission of COVID-19 on the campus, but this season the league will follow similar daily coronavirus testing protocols as the MLB and the NFL.

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Holiday is coming to the Bucks at the right time. The team’s star player and two-time league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, 26, just signed a five-year, $228M contract extension, the New York Post reports, to remain with the team, the richest deal in NBA history.

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