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Nets’ Irving launches fund to assist WNBA players

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving has committed $1.5 million to support WNBA players who decided to skip the 2020 season for health, personal, professional or safety-related reasons.

The fund is being administered by the KAI Empowerment Initiative, which Irving launched Monday. The NBA veteran contributed all of the money.

WNBA players can apply for financial assistance on the organization’s website. They have until Aug. 11 to submit necessary paperwork and will learn by Aug. 24 if they will receive any funds.

To be eligible, players must have been on a roster before skipping the 2020 campaign, explain the reasons they decided to opt out, have medical considerations connected to the coronavirus pandemic and cannot be receiving a salary or financial assistance from any company or organization.

More than a dozen players chose to skip the season, most citing health or advocacy for social justice reform as the reason.

The WNBA is playing a 22-game regular season schedule exclusively at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., amid the pandemic.

Irving is not with the Nets as they prepare to resume the NBA season in their own bubble at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando as he recovers from shoulder surgery. Injuries limited the six-time All-Star to just 20 games in his first season in Brooklyn.

–Field Level Media

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