The Philadelphia 76ers ownership group notified their employees about a temporary reduction of their salary and a change to a four-day work week to diminish the financial consequences of the coronavirus situation which suspended the NBA season. Following comes from ESPN:
“As we navigate this evolving COVID-19 environment, we are mindful of the long-term impact the suspension of live events and games will have on our organization and industry,” said Scott O’Neil, CEO of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, in a statement sent to the employees. “To ensure we can continue to support and operate our businesses during these uncertain times without reducing our workforce, we are asking our full-time, salaried employees to temporarily reduce their pay by up to 20 percent and move to a four-day week.”
After the news was reported, the ownership group face backlash and critics to their decision on social media and the discontent from their employees, Josh Harris and the ownership group released a statement reversing their decision and announcing that they will keep paying them their full salary.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) March 24, 2020
Before the decision was reversed, Sixers star player Joel Embiid made a donation of $500,000 to help the city face the coronavirus and also decided to help the organization employees that would suffer financially with the salary reductions, reported by Ramona Shelbourne from ESPN. Later he would share his thoughts about the organization committing to pay the full salaries to their workers.
Philadelphia 76ers star @JoelEmbiid has decided to pledge $500K to COVID-19 medical relief—to help survival and protection efforts in the community. AND he’s committed to helping Sixers employees who will suffer financial hardship in light of the franchise’s salary reductions.
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) March 24, 2020
In these trying times, I’m proud of the Sixers organization for reversing course and “doing a 180”. Let’s focus on beating this Coronavirus now. Let’s be responsible and Trust the Process!!
— Joel “Do a 180” Embiid??? (@JoelEmbiid) March 24, 2020
In addition, Adrian Wojnarowski from ESPN reported that other NBA team’s owners are analyzing the Sixers situation to decide the best course of action to handle the finances issues that come with the suspension of the NBA games.
Other NBA owners are watching Sixers and weighing the PR fallout vs. desire to do the same with salary reductions — including some considering furloughs, staff cutbacks, etc. No owner wants to log into Twitter and see his net worth trending after announcing this kind of news.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 24, 2020