I’m probably speaking for all Celtics fans when I say that we all miss basketball. Much like fans are left trying to fill a sports void, the players are as well. NBA 2K competitions and H-O-R-S-E competitions are filling time and are interesting to watch with no other choices for sports. Also like fans, athletes are looking to help during this global pandemic and the Celtics are no exception.
As you know by now, Marcus Smart was the first and only Celtic so far to test positive for COVID-19. Minutes after fans caught wind of this on their phones, Marcus took to twitter to let everybody know on March 19th.
Right now, there is no cure for COVID-19. That won’t stop the spirit of doctors in trying to find a cure, but to do that they need blood plasma from those that have tested positive. Smart announced through his agent that he will donate blood to help find a treatment. The Celtic is the only player to openly announce this, but there are three other players in the NBA who will donate blood as well with their identities being kept anonymous. Marcus Smart, Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert and others have used this as a teaching point for people who are in good shape and in their 20’s and 30’s that they are not exempt from the serious ramifications of this virus.
Along with blood, there are other ways that some of the athletes are helping. 21 year old Jayson Tatum pledged to match up to $250,000 in donations to the Greater Boston Food Bank. Tatum, who was born in St. Louis, will team up with Washington Wizard superstar Bradley Beal in pledging to match another $250,000 to the St. Louis Food Bank.
Tatum also reached out to fans to ask them to adhere to advice from public officials and use good hygiene and stay inside away from large crowds.
This is a scary time for everybody and that includes the athletes, because we don’t know who has the virus and who doesn’t. Being at home with family members can be interesting, fun, maddening, or in the case of Gordon Hayward stressful. Hayward’s wife Robyn is expected to deliver the family’s fourth child later this year. Added to that stress, when the Celtics were notified of Rudy Gobert’s positive test there was general concern after the Jazz Center played in Boston just days earlier. Hayward had a conference call a few days ago and said this on his initial reaction to the virus.
Thankfully, Hayward was negative in detection of the virus. Doctors and nurses have been working insane hours and the Haywards recognized that, so they donated over $2,200 worth of Dunkin’ gift cards to ER workers at Children’s Hospital in Boston. Along with the donation, Hayward recorded a message with his daughter to say thank you.
Thanks. The least we can do is say thanks to doctors, nurses, first responders, grocery store workers, mail people and more. We may not be able to give the amounts of money that players are giving, but the least we can do is offer thanks, stay home and be safe.