Last week, Philadelphia 76ers Managing Partner Josh Harris was under fire as word got out that all Sixers staff members under a $50,000-plus salary would have to take a pay cut of up to 20-percent. Not even 24 hours later, Harris realized he made a mistake.
Since then, Harris has reversed the decision to take away money from his Sixers and New Jersey Devils employees. And to get back in the good graces of the public, Harris is contributing to an admirable amount of donations this week.
First, the Sixers' leading partner made a "six-figure" donation to Philabundance, which is one of the two non-profits Ben Simmons has been promoting within his latest project, 'The Philly Pledge.' Then, Harris sent a seven-figure donation to the Philadelphia School District, so 10,000 Chromebooks could be purchased for students who are forced to partake in learning at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Things were quiet on the donation front for Harris and company on Wednesday, but on Thursday, the Sixers' Managing Partner is back at it again with two more generous donations. First, Harris-Blitzer Sports and Entertainment have made a "significant donation" to Cooper University Health Care’s COVID-19 Assistance Fund.
The Cooper Foundation in Camden, New Jersey, created the fund to help South Jersey’s leading academic health system during the coronavirus pandemic. With the donation, the 76ers' partners have contributed enough funds to provide critical medical equipment, which includes respirators, surgical masks, gloves, gowns, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, eye protection, and ventilators.
“We are incredibly thankful and appreciative of the generous donation and also the tremendous partnership we have developed with Josh Harris, David Blitzer, and the Philadelphia 76ers to support our community,” said Kevin O’Dowd, JD, Co-President/CEO of Cooper.
The generosity didn't stop there. In addition to Thursday's donation to The Cooper Foundation, Josh Harris and company have also made another considerable donation to The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to provide medical supplies and telemedicine, which allows kids to have remote visits during this time.
Thanks to Harris, Blitzer, and the 76ers donation to CHOP, the hospital will be able to conduct 5,000 remote visits for kids per week so they can be quickly diagnosed and medicated if needed. “At Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the well-being of our patients and families is our highest priority," said Madeline Bell, the President, and CEO, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
"The funds from this generous donation ensure that we can fulfill our mission of providing high-quality healthcare for all children, in all circumstances. Thank you to Josh Harris, David Blitzer, and the entire 76ers organization for thinking of us as we navigate these unchartered waters and support the families of our community.”
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_