NEW ORLEANS — Zion Williamson announced on instagram that he'll cover the salaries of all Smoothie King Center workers for the next 30 days while the NBA season is suspended and all large public gatherings have been banned by the Governor.
"The people of New Orleans have been incredibly welcoming and supportive since I was Drafted by the Pels last June, and some of the most special people I have met are those who work at smoothie King Center," Williamson wrote. "These are the folks who make our games possible, creating the perfect environment for our fans and everyone involved in the organization. Unfortunately, many of them are still recovering from long term challenges created by Katrina, and now face the economic impact of the postponement of games because of the virus."
Williamson said the donation was inspire by his mother, who always set the example to be respectful of others and grateful for what you have.
"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," Williamson said.
The NBA suspended the 2019-20 season after Utah Jazz Center Rudy Gobert was diagnosed with the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League and PGA have all taken similar actions.
On Friday, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced sweeping emergency proclamation that banned all public gatherings with more than 250 people and also closed all public schools until April 13.
"The limits on gatherings of 250 people or more statewide is based on federal CDC guidance given the community spread which we are currently experiencing," Edwards wrote. "These steps are necessary to protect the health and safety of the people of Louisiana from the risk of COVID-19."
The Louisiana Department of Health announced Friday that the number of presumptive positive cases of COVID-19, the potentially deadly respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, had jumped to 36.
No deaths from COVID-19 have been reported in Louisiana at this time.