Entertainment

Nets Player Kyrie Irving Commits $1.5 Million To Help Pay The Salaries Of WNBA Players Opting Out Of The 2020 Season

While WNBA players were able to receive a modest salary increase in the 2019-20 season, the bump up has yet to give way to the opportunity of true equity. This has proven to be particularly true when their male counterparts of the NBA are thrown into the mix.

Today, the average salary of a WNBA player starts at around $50,000 and caps off at $110,000. On the other hand, a player starting out in the NBA starts out with a salary that averages around $560,000. Currently, amid COVID-19 shutdowns, this massive gap in salary is heavily affecting the WNBA players who are being paid less and opting to forgo playing during the 2020 season.

According to NBC Sports, WNBA executives and athletes have agreed that players who are considered “at-risk” for the COVID-19 virus can opt-out of playing this season and still receive a full paycheck. Meanwhile, those who are not “at-risk” but make the decision not to play will not receive compensation.

Fortunately, many NBA players are aware of the ways in which this disparity affects them differently and are working to support the women who play the game as well.

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving is leading the charge to ensure that WNBA athletes who opt out of playing this season can do so without worrying about finances. 

The Nets point guard announced in a statement made via his KAI Empowerment Initiative, that he pledges to commit $1.5 million to cover the salaries of WNBA players who have opted out of playing in the 2020 season. As part of his effort, Irving has also partnered with the investment banking company UBS to offer financial literacy programs to each of the players in the WNBA.

“This platform was created to provide support for all WNBA players in hopes to relieve some of the financial strain imposed during these challenging times,” Irving explained in a statement. “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.”

Players must provide the reasons behind their decision to not participate in the 2020 season to qualify.

In order to qualify, WNBA players cannot receive any additional financial support from other organizations.

According to CNBC, Irving makes an annual average salary of roughly $34 million and said that he was inspired to start the fund “after WNBA players Natasha Cloud of the Washington Mystics and Jewell Loyd of the Seattle Storm connected him with several of their WNBA peers who discussed some of the challenges they would face if they opted not to play when the season started on July 25.”

Cloud recently announced that she will be committing her time during the season to fight for racial and social justice instead of playing.

Players Renee Montgomery and Tiffany Hayes of the Atlanta Dream, have also confirmed their decision to take part in the fight. In addition, ten other WNBA athletes have also confirmed that they will not be playing this year because of health concerns or other reasons related to the fight for social justice.

Speaking with ESPN’s The Undefeated, Cloud explained, “It’s hard to think about basketball with the climate of what we’re in right now socially after George Floyd was murdered.” 

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Ben Affleck & Marc Anthony Spoke Frankly About J.LO And My Nostalgic Aughts-Self Is Giving A Toast

Entertainment

Ben Affleck & Marc Anthony Spoke Frankly About J.LO And My Nostalgic Aughts-Self Is Giving A Toast

Sony Pictures

No doubt, as the Latina Queen of Hollywood, Jennifer Lopez has played the better half of quite a few relationships and not just on-screen. From Diddy, formerly known as Puff Daddy and P Diddy, to Casper Smart Lopez has been The Strong Woman behind some pretty well-known men.

Her exes Marc Anthony (whom J.L o shares twins Emme and Max, 13 with) and Ben Affleck know it, and in a recent interview, they opened up about what they really think of her.

For her recent May cover of InStyle magazine, Lopez’s feature story included insights from her former loves Anthony and Affleck on everything from her drive to her ageless beauty.

In honor of the singer and actor’s 30-year run in the entertainment industry, the magazine featured her and her most prolific exes. For the interview, both Anthony and Affleck commented on Lopez’s character, heart, and business savvy. “The thing about Jennifer is her ability to see and understand things before they happen,” Anthony, explained in his interview.

Anthony, a singer and actor who starred in the 2001 film In the Time of the Butterflies was married to Lopez from 2004 to 2014.

“Before she even brings an idea up, she has visualized it a thousand times. And if anyone says it might not be the greatest idea, she’ll say, ‘You just don’t see it yet.’ Nine times out of 10, she’ll nail it. She’s the first one in the room and the last to leave. The hardest worker I’ve ever met,” Anthony went onto share. “When we were together, it was quite the opposite for me. That has changed since. I learned so much from her. She’s the original!”

Affleck who dated J.LO in 2002 and starred alongside her in the films “Gigli” and “Jersey Girl” also spoke openly about Lopez.

“I thought I had a good work ethic, but I was completely humbled and blown away by what she was committed to doing day in and day out, the seriousness in which she took her work, the quiet and dedicated way she went about accomplishing her goals, and then how she would go back and redouble her efforts,” Affleck, whose romance with Lopez earned him the other part of the nickname “Bennifer” by the media, explained.

“She remains, to this day, the hardest-working person I’ve come across in this business,” he revealed, “She has great talent, but she has also worked very hard for her success, and I’m so happy for her that she seems, at long last, to be getting the credit she deserves.”

At one point Affleck commented, relatably, that he felt J.Lo appeared as if she hadn’t aged since they dated.

“Where are you keeping the fountain of youth? Why do you look the same as you did in 2003 and it kind of looks like I’m in my 40s…at best?” he joked.

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Amanda Gorman’s Mom Helping Her Do Her Hair For Her Vogue Cover Is The Sweetest Thing Ever

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Amanda Gorman’s Mom Helping Her Do Her Hair For Her Vogue Cover Is The Sweetest Thing Ever

Pool / Getty

After captivating the world with her performance at the 2021 presidential inauguration, Amanda Gorman has continue to be praised. She was featured in Time Magazines’s Black Renaissance issue, named one of People’s Women Changing the World, and her outfit was copied by a little boy.

Now, she’s gracing the cover of Vogue.

In a series shot by Annie Leibovitz, Gorman wore shoulder-length Senegalese twists.

In a post shared to her Instagram page, Gorman celebrated the new cover by thanking her Vogue beauty team, which included her own mom. “Special thanks to my mom who helped with hair on-set,” she said in her caption.

There’s no denying that the poet Amanda Gorman is a trendsetter. As the nation’s first-ever youth poet laureate, she stunned the world with her words, grace, poise, and style during the inauguration. Amongst the millions watching her, one little boy, in particular, was paying attention.

Jeremy Rowan, 7, had a chance to dress as his idol for his school’s Spirit Day and picked Gorman as his inspiration.

In an interview with TODAY Parents, Jeremy’s mom, Kimberly Rowan explained that “He really looks up to Amanda — she is such a strong youth leader and role model.” Kimberly shared the image of her son to Twitter with a caption that explained “This little guy chose to dress as Amanda Gorman for “Dress as Your Idol” day at (remote) school. Thank you @TheAmandaGorman for inspiring all of our children to change the world!”

“He said he was dressing as Amanda since he was really enjoying reading her biography and writing a report about her life and poetry,” Kimberly Rowan explained to TODAY Parents. “And when it came to finding the outfit, he knew right where to look: in his closet, the costume box and beyond. He had a blast coming up with the costume.”

Jeremy wore a red microfiber cloth pinned to his hair to copy Gorman’s red headband. He also wore a puffy yellow jacket and wrote about Gorman for his writing class’s biography project. For the assignment, he researched Gorman and wrote his own version of her life story.

His tribute ultimately caught the eye of Gorman.

According to Jeremy’s mother Amanda “replied, writing that she wanted to dress as him for her idol… I was floored.” Gorman also reached out to Jeremy’s mother and asked if she could post the story and photo on social media in honor of World Poetry Day on March 21.

“We were honored, and are still stunned really, by this reaction,” Rowan went onto share. “Then she sent us a beautiful video telling Jeremy how great his photo was. It is really such a special moment for him and I know it will shape who he becomes… The love from Amanda and the world has reaffirmed his choice in dressing as her. I believe this will allow him to continue to make bold choices in the future without the fear that others may react negatively.”

Speaking about Jeremy, Rowan shared that what he liked the most about Amanda Gorman was her use of hands.

“He has said she recites her poetry like it’s a song and uses her hands like she is translating it into sign language,” Rowan explained. “In the conclusion of his biography he wrote, ‘I learned that Amanda Gorman is incredible because she knows that poetry is like using your words (to express your feelings and emotions).'”

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