Philadelphia 76ers managing partner Josh Harris and co-managing partner David Blitzer are buying 10,000 laptops for students in the area as schools have transitioned to online learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported the news, noting the executives committed funds to buy the Chromebooks for students in the School District of Philadelphia. Pompey also reported Harris and Blitzer made a six-figure donation to the nonprofit organization Philabundance, which used the money to buy 20,000 boxes of food for 160,000 people in Philadelphia.
"This amazing show of support from the 76ers and its leadership will go a long way to helping us continue to purchase food and distribute it to our network of partners to help feed those in need," Philabundance executive director Glenn Bergman said. "We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of the Sixers Youth Foundation, Josh Harris and David Blitzer and thank them for being leaders in our community when we need them most."
Pompey noted Harris and Blitzer are two of many associated with Philadelphia sports who have supported the Philly Pledge, which encourages donations to help the area fight the coronavirus pandemic and the difficulties that come from it.
Flyers forward Claude Giroux, Sixers forward Tobias Harris, Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins, catcher Andrew Knapp and infielder Scott Kingery, Eagles defensive back Jalen Mills and tight end Zach Ertz and his wife, Julie, who plays for the NWSL's Chicago Red Stars and the U.S. Women's National Team, are among those who have helped.
This movement from Harris and Blitzer comes after the Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment group drew criticism for putting a program in place that would temporarily reduce the salaries of 76ers and New Jersey Devils' employees by up to 20 percent while the NBA and NHL are on hiatus during the pandemic.
However, the group reversed course on the decision after facing public backlash, per Steve Gardner of USA Today.
The NBA and NHL are far from the only leagues or events to be drastically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, as Major League Baseball and the MLS both suspended their seasons, events such as the Olympics, Kentucky Derby and Masters were postponed, and the NCAA canceled winter and spring championships.