The NFL is planning a telethon to aid coronavirus relief efforts during the draft from April 23-25, according to two people familiar with the league’s plans.
The people tell the Associated Press that the league hopes its massive reach will raise awareness and funds in battling the pandemic. They spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the telethon has not been announced publicly.
Details on conducting the telethon and charities that will benefit will be released soon.
Since the NFL’s business year began on March 18, the league has conducted free agency even as team facilities have been shut down and travel has been barred. Its biggest offseason event is the draft, which was scheduled for Las Vegas but now will be done remotely, with ESPN and NFL Network televising the proceedings.
The Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers have issued a challenge to area residents: Raise $200,000 for the city’s 12 community centers by noon Thursday and the two professional teams will kick in an extra $420,000.
The community centers are helping to feed, support and care for vulnerable residents during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
“There is no more important time to strengthen them, and we are encouraging everyone who can to chip in. We thank our friends at the Colts and are proud to join them in supporting our neighbors,” Pacers Sports & Entertainment president Rick Fuson said.
The announcement comes one day after Colts owner Jim Irsay donated more than 10,000 of the hard-to-find N-95 masks to the Indiana State Department of Health for health care workers.
Man United steps up
Manchester United has told staff they will all remain on full pay without any of them being furloughed during the coronavirus pandemic.
Premier League rival Tottenham has faced criticism for placing some non-playing staff on a scheme that sees the government fund wages.
United emailed its full-time staff on Monday morning and encouraged them to volunteer for the National Health Service or in their communities if their workload has been reduced or they cannot work from home due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
For around 950 non-match-day, part-time workers, United is covering their average weekly pay based on hours worked between December and February. That commitment has been extended from the end of April until June 1.
United is also paying around 3,000 part-time match-day personnel for the remaining Premier League games they would have worked this season.
The season has been on hold since last month. No date has been set for the resumption of games.