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Kyrie Irving commits $1.5M to help cover the salaries of WNBA players sitting out this season

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving announced he will help make sure WNBA players can sit out the season without financial struggles.
FILE - In this Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, file photo, injured Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving applauds his teammates from the bench during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, in New York. Irving is joining rapper Common and others for a TV special calling for action following the death of Breonna Taylor. Irving is producing “#SAYHERNAME: BREONNA TAYLOR,” which will debut Wednesday, July 8, 2020, at 7 p.m. EDT on the PlayersTv digital and broadcast network.(AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)
FILE - In this Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, file photo, injured Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving applauds his teammates from the bench during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, in New York. Irving is joining rapper Common and others for a TV special calling for action following the death of Breonna Taylor. Irving is producing “#SAYHERNAME: BREONNA TAYLOR,” which will debut Wednesday, July 8, 2020, at 7 p.m. EDT on the PlayersTv digital and broadcast network.(AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)(Kathy Willens | AP)
Published: Jul. 28, 2020 at 12:49 PM EDT
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(WVLT/CNN) - Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving announced he will help make sure WNBA players can sit out the season without financial struggles.

Irving committed $1.5 million to supplement the income of players who choose not to play this season. Many players made the decision not to play due to the COVID-19 pandemic or social justice reasons.

The funds will come from the initiative Irving launched last week called KAI Empowerment Initiative. The program will also work to educate players on financial literacy.

According to Irving, WNBA players Natasha Cloud and Jewell Lloyd helped him connect with other players in the league to discuss the challenges they face when making the decision to sit out.

The WNBA season began Friday and will be played at the IMG Academy in Florida.

“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,” Irving said.

To be eligible for the funds, players must provide insight into the circumstances surrounding their decision to not play.

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