The Brooklyn Nets point guard has announced that he has started the fund to help supplement players who have chosen not to play, regardless of whether it's due to the coronavirus, personal, or social justice reasons, Associated Press reports.
The money will be provided by the KAI Empowerment Initiative, which Irving launched on Monday. In addition to the funds available for players skipping the 2020 season, KAI will also provide players with an optional financial literacy program. "Whether a person decided to fight for social justice, play basketball, focus on physical or mental health, or simply connect with their families, this initiative can hopefully support their priorities and decisions," said Irving in a statement.
Irving put together plans for the fund after he spoke to two WNBA players skipping the season, Natasha Cloud and Jewell Lloyd. Through them he was connected to more WNBA players, who spoke with him about their concerns when it came to making the decision to play or not during the pandemic.
Fully funded by Irving, the money will assist players in the WNBA who usually make around $200,000 a season. Many have already opted out of playing in the WNBA's bubble, which is currently taking place at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.