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Premier League players announce COVID-19 charitable giving initiative

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Professional footballers: they’re good.

England v Bulgaria - UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Premier League footballers have yet to come to an agreement about voluntary — or involuntary — cuts to their weekly wages in order to address the massive financial crisis caused by the COVID-19 crisis, but they’re stepping up in an important new way, and are doing it on their own.

Many, many players have now posted the following statement on their social media accounts, including a number of Tottenham Hotspur players. In it, they announce the formation of the “Players Together” charitable initiative, a voluntary player-led fundraiser that will collect and distribute funds to the National Heath Service in order to support its ongoing efforts to combat the coronavirus.

Here’s Harry Kane on his official twitter account. It has been posted on a great deal of other Spurs social accounts.

As the statement notes, this initiative is separate from any ongoing discussion about deferred or vacated wages; the PFA is still locked in negotiations with the EFL and Premier League about whether players should give up a percentage of their wages in order to help clubs that are suffering financially from the stoppage of football. There has not been a breakthrough as of the time of this article’s posting.

This is also in addition to whatever else individual players are doing to support various charitable organizations. Danny Rose has been one of the most active players in this regard — he has already given money to a Middlesex hospital and also sent hundreds of pizzas to healthcare workers there, and today it was announced that he has donated £10,000 to two domestic abuse charities that are suffering from the impact of the virus.

Footballers are being cast as the villains in the ongoing labor dispute between themselves and their clubs/owners, but it’s important to recognize that these players really do care a great deal about helping people, and they’re doing what they can with the resources at their disposal. I tip my hat to them.