Kyrie Irving is never going to be non-controversial. This month’s events have proven that. It is as much a given as his talent. You can deal with it ... or not. BUT he is also someone who will walk the walk as well as talk the talk.
Over the past year, one filled with a deadly pandemic, calls for social justice and an assault on the nation’s Capitol by insurrectionists, Irving has repeatedly come to the aid of real people, hungry people, sick people, acted as a leader in philanthropy through his family foundation.
The latest: Irving has bought a house for the family of George Floyd, whose killing at the hands of Minneapolis police last May spurred nationwide protests. Stephen Jackson, the ex-Net who grew up with Floyd in Texas, revealed Irving’s gift —and others — on Etan Thomas’ podcast (“The Rematch”). Jackson is helping to raise Floyd’s daughter, Gianna and was asked by Thomas, also a former NBA player, how she’s been doing.
“She’s getting so much love — not just from us, but from people all around the world who are showing support,” Jackson said. “I’m just continuing to do what I said I was going to do; I said I was going to be my brother’s keeper and take care of his daughter and make sure that her next days are her best days.
“A lot of my friends [have helped]. Kyrie Irving bought them a house. Lil Wayne’s manager bought them a Mercedes Benz. Barbra Streisand gave them stock in Disney.”
A spokesperson for Irving confirmed the gift but declined comment. The move is certainly in line with a number of charitable contributions he’s been involved with, particularly since the pandemic hit. He has also been involved with the players union’s efforts on social justice —he’s an NBPA vice president.
Here’s a list of Irving’s public philanthropy and social justice efforts...
—On March 23, his 28th birthday, Irving announced that he’s donating $323,000 to Feeding America, with Lineage Logistics matching up to $200,000 in donations amid the first weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic.
—Later in March, Irving partnered with City Harvest and donated 250,000 meals across the New York area. Irving announced he was creating the Share-A-Meal campaign in partnership with other organizations “to help marginalized communities get the food sources they require.”
—In May, Irving along with Nike donated 17 pallets of food and 50,000 N95 maskts to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe that were distributed across a wide expanse of North and South Dakota. Irving’s late mother was a member of the tribe.
—In July, Irving set up through his K.A.I Family Foundation a $1.5 million program to help those WNBA players who couldn’t participate in the Bradenton “wubble.” whether it be out of coronavirus or social justice concerns. The money came from the K.A.I. Empowerment Initiative, which also provide WNBA players with a financial literacy program in partnership with UBS.
—That same month, he produced ‘#SayHerName: Breonna Taylor’ Special,” a documentary with discussion of the death of Taylor, a Louisville EMT who died in a fusillade of police gunfire on March 13.
—In November, Irving personally distributed Thanksgiving turkeys and PPE to families in the Bronx and New Jersey, his two New York “hometowns,” again part of the K.A.I. Family Foundation, part of his “givember” program with Fresh Direct.
—Finally, last month, Irving agreed to pay the tuition of nine students at Lincoln University, a historically black university in Pennsylvania, part of the foundation’s “11 Days of Giving,” As part of that program, the foundation donated school supplies to 25 teenage girls in Kenya; 100 Book Bags to students in Newark, N.J. and and an undisclosed amount to Moms of Black Boys United for Social Change. In Brooklyn, N.Y.
Beyond his own and his foundation’s gifts, Irving was one of several Nets players who Joe and Clara Wu Tsai said were their inspiration in setting up a $50 million Social Justice Fund for Brooklyn.
- Kyrie Irving recently bought a home for George Floyd’s family - Basketball News
- Kyrie Irving bought George Floyd’s family a house: Stephen Jackson - Greg Joyce - New York Post
- Kyrie Irving bought George Floyd’s family a house - Dennis Young - New York Daily News
- Kyrie Irving bought a house for George Floyd’s family - Ryan Morik - SNY
- Stephen Jackson says Kyrie Irving bought George Floyd’s family a home - John Healy - WFAN