Ten athletes who have given big for Coronavirus fight
While coronavirus continues to ravage the world, calls have been made to the privileged to help in the best way they can to either support overwhelmed health workers or suffering families. Billionaires and corporate entities have heeded the calls and so have sports personalities. Here are some of the biggest givers in sports so far.
1. Marcus Rashford- Sh2.5 billion
Manchester United star Marcus Rashford announced recently that he was working with the charity FareShare to help distribute food for children who rely on schools for their daily meals.
The 22-year-old has so far raised over a superb £20 million (Sh2.5 billion) for the cause. Rashford has been stunned by the response to his appeal, with Tesco donating food worth £15 million, Asda pledging £2.5 million in cash and The Co-Op also providing £1.5 million in food donations. Rashford, who has worked with FareShare for 12 months, has revealed he grew up on free school meals and said he was left concerned that up to 600,000 children would go hungry due to the closure of schools.
2. Drew Brees- Sh500m
NFL star Drew Brees and his wife, Brittany, announced on Instagram on March 26 that they were donating $5 million (Sh500m) to the State of Louisiana in 2020, and that the focus of the donation is to help the communities that are impacted by the coronavirus crisis.
The New Orleans Saint said in the post that he and his wife will use partnerships with Second Harvest Food Bank, Ochsner Health Systems, Walk-Ons, Jimmy Johns, Smalls Sliders and Waitr “to prepare and deliver over 10,000 meals per day throughout Louisiana for as long as it takes to children on meal programs, seniors, and families in need.”
3. Zlatan Ibrahimovic- Sh110 million
Soccer star Zlatan Ibrahimović launched a GoFundMe campaign to benefit Humanitas Research Hospital in Italy with a goal of raising 1 million euros (Sh110 million).
The athlete revealed the effort via Instagram. “Italy has always given me so much and, in this dramatic moment, I want to give back even more to this country that I love,” he wrote in a caption to a video promoting the campaign.
4. Neymar- Sh95m
Neymar has made a donation of almost £800,000 [Sh95m] to aid the battle against the disease.
He split his donation between UNICEF and a solidarity fund created in his homeland of Brazil, but did it privately as he did not want to promote himself.
This is according to Brazilian present Chris Flores, who told UOL: “Neymar donated R$5m to fight COVID. He made this donation at the beginning of last week.
Part of it went to UNICEF, and part to that solidarity fund that was created by artists.”
5. Pep Guradiola- Sh110 million
Pep Guardiola donated £920,000 [Sh110 million] to help provide medical equipment in the fight against coronavirus in Spain.
The Manchester City boss has been keen to help and has been working with his lawyers over the last few days on how best to use the money.
He has now decided it will go to a campaign being promoted by the Medical College of Barcelona and the Angel Soler Daniel Foundation.
Sadly for Guardiola, his mother was killed by the disease two weeks ago.
6. Rudy Gobert - Sh50m
Utah Jazz centre Rudy Gobert, who was the first NBA star to test positive for the virus, made a donation of about $500,000 (Sh50m) across three organizations.
Gobert promised $100,000 (Sh10m) to pay part-time employees of the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City whose jobs were impacted, $100,000 each to support coronavirus-related social services in Utah and Oklahoma City, and $111,000 (Sh11m) to go toward the coronavirus fight in his home country of France.
7. Roger Federer - Sh100 million
Last week, Swiss tennis superstar Roger Federer and his wife Mirka said they have donated one million Swiss francs (Sh100 million) “for the most vulnerable families” in Switzerland, which has 9,765 confirmed cases and a death toll of 103.
“These are challenging times for everyone and nobody should be left behind,” the former world number one wrote on his Twitter and Instagram accounts. “Our contribution is just a start,” Federer added.
“We hope that others might join in supporting more families in need. Together we can overcome this crisis.”
8. Messi and Ronaldo - Sh110 million each
Footballers Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have also reportedly donated one million euros (Sh110 million) each to the cause.
Messi’s donation went to Hospital Clinic in Barcelona, which is both treating the victims of the pandemic and researching the virus.
Portugal and Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo and his agent Jorge Mendes also jointly donated life-saving equipment to Portuguese hospitals in Lisbon and Porto.
9. Wilfried Zaha - Offers 50 properties
Zaha, the Crystal Palace forward, offered to open up 50 properties in London to NHS staff working round the clock to tackle the pandemic.
The Ivory Coast international is a co-owner of ZO Properties, which has a portfolio of rental accommodation usually offered to business travellers, with properties in Notting Hill, Shoreditch and Aldgate.
Zaha on Twitter urged ‘health workers please reach out’ as he shared a post from fellow co-owner Obi Williams which announced the offer to provide housing.
10. Zion Williamson
New Orleans Pelicans rookie standout Zion Williamson announced on social media that he would be covering the salaries for New Orleans arena workers for 30 days.
“This is a small way for me to express my support and appreciation for these wonderful people who have been so great to me and my teammates and hopefully we can all join together to relieve some of the stress and hardship caused by this national health crisis,” he said.