Kyrie Irving has promised to commit $1.5 Million dollars to supplement the income of any WNBA players who decide not to play this season for health reasons or in protest of social justice issues.

The $1.5 million initiative is fully funded by Irving, and could provide significant assistance to WNBA players who typically top out at $200,000 a season. Twelve players have opted out of the WNBA’s “wubble” season.

Irving said that with the help of WNBA players Natasha Cloud – who chose to sit out – and Jewell Loyd, he connected with several WNBA players who discussed with him the challenges they faced in deciding whether to play.

“Whether a person decided to fight for social justice, play basketball, focus on physical or mental health, or simply connect with their families, this initiative can hopefully support their priorities and decisions…”

Kyrie Irving

Kyrie’s New Financial Program: KAI Empower Initiative

The money is coming from a new program that he launched called the KAI Empower Initiative.

The KAI Empowerment Initiative is fully funded by Kyrie Irving who has committed $1.5 million to these efforts. In addition, the program will give all WNBA players access to a comprehensive financial literacy program provided by UBS.

Kyrie’s Other Pandemic Donations

This comes on top of the $323,000 that he donated to food banks in New York City at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

Also, along with Nike, Kyrie has donated 17 pallets of food and 50,000 N95 masks to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe that will be distributed across a wide expanse of North and South Dakota. His late mother was a member of the tribe.

More info can be found about the KAI Empowerment Initiative by going to the website at