brooklyn nets
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Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving will be ensuring WNBA players get paid even if they opt-out of the 2020 season.

Per Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press, Brooklyn Nets star point guard Kyrie Irving will be committing $1.5 million to WNBA players who choose not to play in 2020.

The season began on Saturday and will be played at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

According to Mahoney, Irving will be willing to help regardless of whether the WNBA players are sitting out due to coronavirus concerns or in light of the social justice movements that have become prevalent in the United States over the past few months.

Irving launched the KAI Empowerment Initiative on Monday, which will be providing the funds to the players. It will also provide the service of a financial literacy program to players.

No WNBA player’s salary is greater than around $200,000, and that was a motivating factor for Irving to come to this decision. Irving was able to speak with multiple WNBA players about the challenges they have faced in terms of deciding to play.

According to Mahoney, in order to be eligible for the program, players must explain their decisions to opt-out and the surrounding circumstances and cannot be receiving financial support from another source.

The NBA season is slated to resume on Thursday in the Orlando, Florida bubble and the Nets have been invited to participate but Irving is one of several Nets not with the team. He underwent season-ending shoulder surgery at the end of February.

Leen has written about the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, and international soccer. She is currently the primary NHL writer for ESNY. Leen's work has been featured on Bleacher Report and she was formerly a contributor for FanSided's New York Mets blog, Rising Apple. She is a co-host of the Yankees-Mets Express podcast.