Jrue and Lauren Holiday prepare to launch social justice fund
It's not uncommon to see professional athletes utilize their platform for the greater good. Recently we've seen athletes like LeBron James, Stephen Jackson, and members of the National Women's Soccer League raise awareness of Black Lives Matter and other important social justice issues.
You can add New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holliday and his wife retired soccer star Lauren Holiday to the list of athletes joining this important fight.
The Holiday's are using Jrue's game checks from the remainder of the 2019-2020 season to launch a new social justice fund. The goal of this fund is to assist individuals in cities that have meant the most to their family.
The $5.3 million dollars from the game checks will launch the Jrue and Lauren Holiday Social Justice Impact Fund. The fund will aid communities in New Orleans, Indianapolis, and the Los Angeles area.
"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.
"We were just kind of sitting in the house, in the bed, thinking about it, and 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. 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 majority of the money donated from the fund will be dedicated to nonprofits, black-owned businesses, and city-wide initiatives.
Here is the initial plan for how the money from the fund will be spent.
Black and Brown communities in New Orleans (up to $1.5 million)
Los Angeles and Compton, Calif. (up to $1.5 million)
Indianapolis (up to $1 million)
These locations are of significant importance to the Holiday family. New Orleans is currently where Jrue applies his craft in the NBA with the New Orleans Pelicans.
Lauren, a retired soccer player with FC Kansas City and the United States Women's National Team, is a native of Indianapolis. The couple met during their time at UCLA where Jrue played basketball and Lauren was a soccer star.
"I just feel like it's the perfect opportunity to pick those three cities that mean a lot to us and try to better those cities," Holiday said.
"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. "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."