- Athletes and teams in the U.S. are donating thousands to pay arena employees who are being financially impacted by the NBA, MLB, and other sport season suspensions.
- Meanwhile, Alibaba billionaire Jack Ma and Dell Technologies billionaire Michael Dell offered the U.S. medical supplies and technical infrastructure support.
- As cases of COVID-19 surge across the globe, China is beginning to recover and is easing up on drastic restrictions.
- Viral video shows Wuhan doctors celebrating the closure of the city’s last temporary hospital.
Amid all of the panic surrounding the spreading coronavirus, many big names are offering financial support to those in need.
The suspension of the NBA season, for instance, isn’t just affecting million dollar players and fans. It’s having a huge impact on thousands of employees in basketball arenas across the nation.
Last week, Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love committed to giving $100,000 through his non-profit to help support the Cavaliers’ arena and staff. Soon after, other players followed his lead, like Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokoump.
Antetokoumpo tweeted, “It’s bigger than basketball! And during this tough time I want to help the people that make my life, my family’s lives and my teammates lives easier. Me and my family pledge to donate $100,000 to the Fiserv Forum staff. We can get through this together!”
Zion Williamson, a forward for the New Orleans Pelicans, said on Instagram that he was paying the salaries of Smoothie King Center employees for the next 30 days.“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,” he wrote.
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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. 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. My mother has always set an example for me about being respectful for others and being grateful for what we have, and so today I am pledging to cover the salaries for all of those Smoothie King Center workers for the next 30 days. 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. This is an incredibly resilient city full of some of the most resilient people, but sometimes providing a little extra assistance can make things a little easier for the community.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who first brought up pay issues right as the season was suspended, said the Mavericks would pay event staff during the hiatus. The Golden State Warriors took it a step further, with franchise owners, players, and coaches promising to contribute $1 million for Chase Center employees. After all of these generous announcements, more teams made commitments to help arena staff, including the Atlanta Hawks, the Chicago Bulls, Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, LA Lakers and Clippers.
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert even promised assistance of his own after apologizing for not taking the virus seriously. Gobert prompted the NBA shut down when he tested positive for the virus after joking touching microphones at a press conference and reportedly acting “careless” around other players.
In an effort to make things right, he encouraged people to use his story as a lesson and is donating $200,000 to the employee relief fund at Vivint Smart Home Arena. On top of that, he’s giving $100,000 each to assist families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in Utah and Oklahoma City, plus 100,000 euros for his native country of France.
And this isn’t just happening in the NBA, Major League Baseball stars have been donating funds for their workers, including Astros players George Springer and Alex Bregman. A few National Hockey League teams have also reportedly been working on plans to reimburse workers for lost wages.
Medical and Technological Support
The donations have eased some employees, allowing them to find comfort in knowing that they will still have an income during this stressful time. But it’s not just employee’s impacted by closures who are seeing support.
Others are focusing on medical necessities, like Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma. Ma is donating 500,000 coronavirus testing kits and one million protective face masks to the U.S., saying that from his own country’s experience, “speedy and accurate testing and adequate personal protective equipment for medical professionals are most effective in preventing the spread of the virus.”
The Chinese billionaire has already offered similar supplies for areas like Japan, Korea, Italy, Iran, and Spain, and others. According to tweets from the Jack Ma Foundation, the first U.S. shipment is already on its way.
Tech billionaire Michael Dell also explained how Dell Technologies was helping fight the coronavirus worldwide. Dell said the company has made a donation of two million yuan ($284,000 USD) to fund needed materials in China including surgical masks, protective clothing and eye protectors for local hospitals.
Along with technical infrastructure support for the CDC in China, the company also set aside $3 million USD in funds and in-kind technology to help meet the needs of organizations working to treat and contain COVID-19.
Dell has also agreed to match employee donations to the CDC Foundation’s Emergency Response Fund up to $10,000 per employee.
Many are celebrating all of these moves, which show a stark contrast in leadership in comparison to Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, who reportedly recommended that employees ‘donate’ PTO to one another amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
Cases Ease Up in China
In an effort to remind people that this outbreak will pass, many internet users have been celebrating the progress being made in Wuhan China, where the virus first broke out.
While people across the globe have been forced to stay inside, healthcare professionals have been working tirelessly to help thousands of people who have fallen ill, putting themselves at risk.
In a viral video, medical workers in Wuhan took their face masks off to reveal smiles as they celebrated the closing of the last temporary hospital. Last month, China quickly built more than a dozen temporary medical facilities last month, including two in Wuhan that proved more than 2,000 more beds to accommodate the overflow of patients in the city.
As of Monday, China has reported nearly 81,000 cases, with more than 67,000 patients who have recovered and about 3,000 who have died. But the country’s quarantine measures and have drastically reduced their number of daily cases and China has now begun easing local travel restrictions in an effort to get thousands of people back to work.
See what others are saying: (CNN) (Business Insider) (Independent)
Twitch Faces Backlash After Booking Megan Thee Stallion At TwitchCon Amid Creator Pay Cuts
The cut in revenue share has ignited severe backlash on Twitch, where users argue pay for creators should be increased, not slashed.
Revenue Share Shake Up
Twitch users are criticizing the company for hiring artist Megan Thee Stallion to perform at TwitchCon just one week after announcing cutbacks to top creator pay.
Last week, the video and streaming platform said that starting in June of next year, some creators will receive less revenue from their subscriptions. While the standard split for subscription revenue is 50/50, some major streamers previously received a more favorable 70/30 share in premium agreement terms.
Many creators have long argued that everyone should get that 70/30 share, but Twitch took a step in the opposite direction. In the future, streamers with premium terms will only get the 70/30 slice for their first $100,000 from subscription revenue. After that, they will get bumped down to the regular 50/50 cut.
The company argued the move was necessary as the premium terms previously lacked transparency and consistency, insisting it tried to modify the policy in a way that impacted the least amount of creators. According to Twitch’s statement, 90% of streamers on standard agreements will not even be impacted by the change.
Still, this move outraged Twitch users who were furious the company was not investing more in the creators that bring so many viewers to its platform. Those frustrations were exacerbated on Wednesday when the company announced Megan Thee Stallion would make an appearance at TwitchCon, a weekend-long event set to take place in San Diego in early October.
Backlash Continues to Mount
While no details of Megan Thee Stallion’s agreement to perform have been disclosed, one can assume she charges a pretty penny to book at an event of this nature. Critics argued that if Twitch is willing to spend money on her, it should be willing to spend it on its own streamers.
“So Twitch can’t afford to pay their creators 70/30, can’t fix their media player that crashes after each ad, can’t enforce their policies so people aren’t doing inappropriate things on stream, but they can afford paying celebrities to promote their streaming site?” one person wrote.
“It’s weird that a company that just announced a bunch of budget cuts due to infrastructure costs goes out and grabs an A-list musician instead of promoting their own musicians that run on their platform,” another person claimed.
“Instead of giving your creators a cut they deserve when they do so much work, this is what you do…?” one user asked. “Maybe give your creators a better deal instead of wasting their hard earned money on things we don’t even want.”
Twitch has not responded to the outrage, but Megan Thee Stallion was not the only music act the Amazon-owned service booked for the event. Kim Petras and Meet Me at the Altar will also take the stage at TwitchCon.
The backlash comes as concerns have been mounting against Twitch for a plethora of reasons including creator pay, gambling streams, and more.
In recent months, some of the platform’s biggest names have left Twitch in favor of rival services like YouTube Gaming.
“Dahmer” Series Breaks Netflix Records Amid Backlash For Exploiting Victims’ Stories
Family members of some of the murderer’s victims say the program is “retraumatizing.”
“Dahmer” Lands Successful Week on Netflix
While criticisms mount against “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story,” the true crime series broke Netflix’s record as the most-watched first week for a series debut.
According to data provided by the streaming giant, the Evan Peters-led show was watched for over 196 million hours between its release on Sept. 21 and Sept. 25.
“Dahmer” is the newest of several pieces of fiction and media based on the famous serial killer. Created by Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan, the series quickly generated a lot of attention online, primarily from those concerned the show is exploiting a gruesome true story.
Critics have echoed those fears, giving the show a mixed 50% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The “Critic’s Consensus” blurb on the site states that while the show is “seemingly self-aware of the peril in glorifying Jeffrey Dahmer” the story still “tilts this horror story into the realm of queasy exploitation.”
Victims’ Families Speak Out
The family of Errol Lindsey, one of Dahmer’s victims, has also spoken out against the series. In a viral tweet, Lindsey’s cousin Eric Perry said his family is “pissed about the show.”
“It’s retraumatizing over and over again, and for what?” he wrote. “How many movies/shows/documentaries do we need?”
In much of the promotion for the series, Netflix claimed it would be told from the perspective of the victims. Perry slammed that narrative, noting that his family was never even contacted by the streamer about the project.
“So when they say they’re doing this ‘with respect to the victims’ or ‘honoring the dignity of the families’, no one contacts them,” he wrote. “My cousins wake up every few months at this point with a bunch of calls and messages and they know there’s another Dahmer show. It’s cruel.”
Lindsey’s sister, Rita Isbell, echoed that claim in an essay she wrote for Insider, noting that Netflix did not notify her of the show, or ask her any questions about her brother.
She said that watching the show “felt like reliving it all over again.”
“It brought back all the emotions I was feeling back then,” she wrote.
“It’s sad that they’re just making money off of this tragedy. That’s just greed,” she continued.
Obsession With Dahmer
Controversy has also grown from some of the responses to the series, as many viewers have posted fan edits of the show that romanticize Dahmer. Some pair clips of Peters’ Dahmer with his victims to love songs or pop ballads, leaving a bad taste in the mouths of those who do not understand why someone would make content glorifying the killer.
Others have responded to the show by calling Dahmer “hot” or posting thirst tweets about his mug shot. This has resulted in a backlash of its own.
“Jeffrey Dahmer molested and murdered people, mostly black men and boys,” one person wrote. “So to see people making edits and thirst traps of him is a little off putting.”
“if I see anyone tweeting thirst tweets about Jeffrey Dahmer I’m immediately unfollowing,” another person said. “That’s so fuckin nasty.”
Concerns that this kind of media results in more people admiring Dahmer are also mounting in Milwaukee, where many of his crimes took place. According to TMZ, the city is considering creating something to honor the victims, but officials fear a physical memorial would turn into a “mecca” for Dahmer’s fans.
YouTube Removes Age Restriction From Nicki Minaj Video After Singer Calls Company a “Bogus Platform”
Even though her video can now be viewed by all YouTuber users, Minaj made it clear she was upset that the age-gate tanked its view count in the first 24 hours.
Nicki Minaj Vs. YouTube
Nicki Minaj called out YouTube on Monday after the platform age-restricted her new music video for “Likkle Miss Remix” featuring Skeng.
By age-restricting a video, YouTube blocks users who are under 18 or not logged into a Google account from viewing the content.
Minaj’s video features close-up shots of people in skimpy outfits twerking, but several videos on YouTube with similar imagery have not been gated. Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP” video is available for everyone, as is Minaj’s own “Anaconda” video.
In a since-deleted Instagram post, Minaj accused YouTube of being inconsistent and playing favorites.
“They restricted my fucking video but have things a million fucking times worse on their BOGUS FKNG PLATFORM,” she wrote in a post that included a screenshot of YouTube’s age-restriction notice. “This is what they do to keep you from winning while doing ads for another ppl and posting fake fkng stats. Because the same ppl who run YouTube are in bed with a certain record label and mngmnt company.”
Minaj further alleged that YouTube’s actions were done to prevent her from getting a significant number of views in the video’s first 24 hours, which is often the most crucial timeframe for a video’s success. She continued to assert that the Google-owned company has a bias toward certain music labels.
YouTube Walks Back Restriction
“How long have yall been playing the numbers game to lie & pretend ppl r doing ‘good’ when they r not?!?!!” Minaj continued in another post. “How much ad space did these duds purchase to be promoted on my channel in the last 5 years?!??!!!!”
Later on Monday, YouTube removed the restriction from Minaj’s video, per Variety. The company said the content in it did not violate its rules and guidelines.
While Minaj ended up deleting her Instagram posts calling YouTube out, she made it clear she was still frustrated by the debacle.
“FUCK THEM DUDS,” she tweeted. “THEY CANT GIVE US BACK OUR FIRST 24 HOURS CAN THEY?!?!!!”
As of Monday afternoon, her video had been viewed over one million times.