Brees gives $5m to help fight virus
NEW YORK: New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees announced on Thursday he is donating US$5 million to help deliver meals to the needy in Louisiana as people struggle to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
The 41-year-old NFL star helped his adopted home city rebound from Hurricane Katrina devastation by leading the Saints to victory in the 2010 Super Bowl.
Brees signed a two-year contract extension worth $50 million last week with the Saints, then posted on Instagram his plan with wife Brittany to help a region where coronavirus infections and deaths have spiked in recent days.
“Brittany and I are committing $5,000,000 to the State of Louisiana in 2020,” Brees posted. “The priority now is helping our communities get through this tough time.
“After considerable research and conversations with local organisations, we will be mobilising our partnerships ... to prepare and deliver over 10,000 meals per day throughout Louisiana for as long as it takes to children on meal programmes, seniors, and families in need.
“Let’s all do our part, maintain hope, and get through this together.”
Louisiana Governor John Bel
Edwards thanked Brees for the support, tweeting: “On behalf of the Great State of Louisiana, we are all grateful for your family’s support and generosity through this trying time.”
Meanwhile, Saints coach Sean Payton, the first person in the NFL to be known as testing positive for coronavirus, said he had been cleared by doctors and felt fine.
DRAFT TO GO AHEAD
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell advised all 32 teams on Thursday that the 2020 draft of new talent will go ahead as scheduled on April 23-25.
An article posted on NFL.com cited a memo sent by Goodell to the teams saying that at a meeting of the commissioner’s executive committee the decision was “unanimous and unequivocal” that the draft should take place despite the coronavirus pandemic.
The public events originally scheduled around the draft in Las Vegas, Nevada, have already been cancelled as health authorities banned large gatherings.
“Apart from the CEC, I have personally discussed this matter with many other owners, club executives and coaches, and there is widespread support for the CEC’s conclusion,” Goodell said in the memo.