New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday announced Wednesday that he will donate the remainder of his 2020 salary, up to $5.3 million, to social justice causes.
Holiday and his wife, former U.S. women’s national soccer team player Lauren Holiday, will use Holiday’s remaining game checks to help start the Jrue and Lauren Holiday Social Justice Impact Fund, which will primarily benefit nonprofits, Black-owned businesses and community initiatives in the New Orleans, Indianapolis and Los Angeles areas.
“Honestly when it came down to it, it was me and my wife talking about what we could do to kind of further this movement and progression and being able to help out our community and just being able to help,” Jrue Holiday said in an appearance on ESPN. “We were just kind of sitting in the house, in the bed, thinking about it, and my wife said, ‘I think you should do this and you should do the rest of your salary.’
“That’s a great idea. Because we want to make an impact. God has blessed us with so much. We know a couple of things that are important are time and money, and right now, we have both. To be able to give away our money to help further this movement and Black-owned businesses that have taken a hit in COVID-19, to us, it felt like the perfect time and opportunity.”
Holiday said $1 million will go to Black-owned businesses in about a dozen cities across the country. Up to $1.5 million will be donated to communities in New Orleans and Los Angeles, and up to $1 million to communities in Indianapolis.
Holiday, 30, is from the Los Angeles area, played one season at UCLA and has spent seven seasons with the Pelicans following four with the Philadelphia 76ers. Lauren Holiday, 32, is from Indianapolis and played in college at UCLA, where the two met.
Jrue Holiday’s brothers, Justin and Aaron, both play for the Indiana Pacers.
“I just feel like it’s the perfect opportunity to pick those three cities that mean a lot to us and try to better those cities,” Jrue Holiday said.
Holiday is in the third year of a five-year, $131.8 million contract, with a base salary of $26.1 million this season.
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