Detroit — Pistons star Blake Griffin is planning to donate $100,000 to help in compensating the workers at Little Caesars Arena, where the Pistons play their home games.
The NBA announced Wednesday that it was suspending the season and that the hiatus would be at least 30 days. During that period, part-time employees and those who work for third-party employers at the arenas could have their livelihoods in jeopardy.
Griffin joins the list of prominent NBA players who have pledged funds to help arena workers, along with the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kevin Love on Thursday and the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo on Friday.
"I normally don't post about these types of things but in times like this, we all need to do our part and while we all wonder about when games are coming back, others are worried about where the next paycheck is coming from," Griffin wrote on Instagram on Friday night. "That's is why I am pledging $100k to the Pistons organization's efforts that will ensure those that work our games every night don't go without during these times.
"These people make our lives easier night, now it is our turn to do the same."
Griffin is in his third season with the Pistons, after being acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Clippers in January 2018. He was an All-NBA selection last season but suffered a knee injury just before the playoffs.
He had offseason surgery and missed the first 10 games of the season before having season-ending surgery in January.
Platinum Equity, the group that owns the Pistons, told The Detroit News on Thursday that it was planning to assist in ensuring that part-time arena workers directly employed by the team would be paid during the league shutdown.
Ilitch Companies, which owns the Red Wings — who also play at Little Caesars Arena with the Pistons — also announced plans to make a big contribution to help lessen the financial impact.
“We are committed to supporting our colleagues in this time of uncertainty,” Ilitch Companies posted on Twitter. “In light of the coronavirus and in conjunction with our partners, we are setting up a $1 million fund to cover the wages of our part-time event staff impacted by postponed events.”