For more than a month, bushfires in Australia have ravaged the New South Wales region, burning more than 38,000 square miles, killing 25 people, millions of animals, and destroying homes and wildlife habitats.
The fires continue to burn as firefighters attempt to slow the progress of the fires, and the relief efforts to assist those affected by the fires is ongoing. For nine Australian-born NBA players, the fires have hit close to home and they, and along with the NBA and NBPA Foundation, they announced Tuesday they would be pledging $750,000 to assist with immediate and long-term relief efforts in Australia.
With the support of the NBPA Foundation and the @NBA, all nine Australian NBA Players commit $750,000 USD to bushfire relief efforts in Australia.
— NBPA (@TheNBPA) January 7, 2020
“In support for their country and the brave individuals standing on the frontlines of the bushfires in the region, nine Australian NBA players have partnered with the NBPA Foundation and NBA to contribute $750,000 to relief and recovery efforts. Aron Baynes, Jonah Bolden, Ben Simmons, Ryan Broekhoff, Matthew Dellavedova, Dante Exum, Joe Ingles, Thon Maker, and Patty Mills will provide support to organizations across the country aid immediate relief efforts and long-term rebuilding projects.”
Simmons added a tweet of his own, saying that while there is “much more to be done,” he is “proud that we could all come together” and provide help.
There is still so much devastation but I am proud that we could all come together w/ help from @TheNBPA & @nba it is truly appreciated. There is much more to be done #AustralianBushFires pic.twitter.com/V3Xy13AxQv
— Ben Simmons (@BenSimmons25) January 7, 2020
The effects of the fires have been felt far outside the burn zone and the incredible loss of property, wildlife, and habitat is going to take years to try and recover. The pledge from the players and league is a positive step in helping and will also hopefully serve to create further awareness of the devastation and need for support.