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NBA star Jrue Holiday donates remaining 2020 salary to social justice causes

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Matthew Stockman/Getty ImagesBY: HALEY YAMADA, ABC NEWS

(ORLANDO) — New Orleans Pelicans star Jrue Holiday said he’ll donate the rest of his paychecks for the NBA’s 2019-2020 season to help launch a social justice fund.

“Today we announced that I have pledged the remainder of my 2020 NBA salary as a progressive step toward combating systemic racism as well as social and economic inequality that continues to prevent Black communities from upward mobility,” Holiday wrote on Instagram, along with the logo to The Jrue and Lauren Holiday Social Justice Impact Fund, a collaboration with his wife and former U.S. women’s soccer team player Lauren Holiday.

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According to the post, the fund will assist “Black-led nonprofits, programs and institutions of higher learning” in New Orleans, as well as the Los Angeles area and Indianapolis, where Jrue Holiday and Lauren Holiday are from, respectively. Funds will also be given out to Black-owned businesses in “10 cities that have been devastated by the impact of COVID-19, but are now known to have received less than 2% of the Paycheck Protection Program loans provided.”

“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 told ESPN.

“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,” he added to ESPN. “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.”

The website for the fund says that up to $5 million will be committed, with $1.5 million dedicated to nonprofits in New Orleans, $1 million to nonprofits in Indianapolis and $1.5 million to nonprofits in Los Angeles and Compton, California. Another $1 million will be awarded to Black-owned small business owners and $500,000 to the [historically Black colleges and universities].

“With everything going on in this world, it made me and my wife realize that we aren’t invested in our community as we feel we should be,” Jrue Holiday said to ESPN. “This is one of those times to really, even though it’s kind of a kick in the pants, you kind of feel like I should’ve known this or I should’ve been doing this before. But you’re never too late. This is our time to contribute.”

Jrue and Lauren Holiday met as students at the University of California, Los Angeles and married in July 2013. In 2016, the couple gave birth to their first daughter, Jrue Tyler Holiday.

On June 29, Lauren Holiday, who is white, released a powerful open letter via The Players’ Tribune headlined “I’ve Stayed Silent for Way Too Long,” detailing the racism Jrue has faced over the course of their interracial relationship.

“And I’ve been thinking a lot lately, as I guess a mom does, about the world our kids are going to grow up in. I’ve been thinking a lot about the meaning of certain things. About what it means to raise a daughter growing up to be a black woman in America — and soon a son who will grow up to be a black man in America,” wrote the two-time Olympic gold medalist, who revealed in the letter that she’s pregnant with a boy. “We owe our voices — and, more than that, we owe our actions. We’ve owed for a while … and we’ll owe for as long as it takes to make it right. So let’s get to work.”

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