Some Things are Bigger Than Sports: Kudos to Mark Cuban

Photo credit: AP Images/Alfredo Lee

Mark Cuban’s look of shock upon receiving the news that the NBA season had been suspended on Wednesday night went viral. He recovered quickly, and, to his credit, immediately focused upon those who would be adversely impacted by the NBA’s important choice to protect public health. Cuban committed to continuing to pay his hourly employees during the term of the suspension, spurring others – players and owners- to ante up as well.

Let’s hope everyone, on every level, follows Mark Cuban’s lead, seeing the big picture and looking for opportunities to help others. Whether it’s continuing to pay employees during work stoppages, choosing to shut down rather than expose others to possible contagion or just plain #stayinghome to #flatten the curve, we can do this. We need to do this. It’s time for all of the rabid sports fans out there to direct their energies and passion to something more important than even their teams’ success: helping each other. Bills Mafia, are you listening? The people who meet the team at the airport at 2:00 am in freezing cold can certainly do what it takes to beat Coronavirus. Let’s work together, and in doing so, protect the most vulnerable among us.

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Helen A. “Nellie” Drew is an expert in sports law, including professional and amateur sports issues ranging from NCAA compliance and Title IX matters to facility construction, discipline of professional athletes, collective bargaining and franchise issues. Drew formerly served as an officer and in-house counsel to the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League, after previously working as outside counsel to the Sabres and the NHL. Among her more interesting experiences were assisting former USSR superstar Alexander Mogilny in obtaining asylum status in the U.S. and working on multiple NHL expansions, including San Jose, Ottawa, Florida and Tampa Bay.
Drew teaches a variety of courses that incorporate topics such as drug testing in professional sports and professional player contract negotiation and arbitration. She is especially interested in the evolving research and litigation concerning concussions in both amateur and professional sports.

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