Posts for sixers

After Last Week’s Employee Pay Debacle, Sixers Make Two Coronavirus Relief Effort Donations

Kevin Kinkead - March 30, 2020

Seems like the Sixers have been more active than any of the local teams when it comes to COVID-19 related stuff, for better or worse.

That includes positives like the Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment decision to pay workers at the Prudential Center and Wells Fargo Center. It also includes negatives, like the 24 hour rollercoaster of deafening feedback that resulted in the scrapping of a plan to reduce employee pay.

Josh Harris sent out a statement apologizing for that, even though it’s his company and he can do what he wants. Maybe they messed up when it came to the furlough idea, but they’ve gotten pretty much everything else right, in my opinion, which includes two more initiatives made public today.

First up, we’ve got the School District of Philadelphia announcing that HBSE stepped up to help purchase 10,000 Chromebooks for students:

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Aramark’s Public Relations Strategy is to Ignore All Emails and Phone Calls

Kevin Kinkead - March 30, 2020

It’s not our place to tell private sector businesses how to operate during a crisis. We’re in a shit situation here, and if companies need to lay off workers or cut costs or implement furloughs, then so be it. That’s their prerogative.

The thing with Aramark, which employs food service workers down at The Wells Fargo Center and other Philadelphia arenas, is that they haven’t returned any emails or phone calls since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Compare that to Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment and Comcast-Spectacor, who not only have responded to media inquiries but agreed to pay the folks who work Sixers, Flyers, and Wings games in South Philly. The decision to help those hourly workers during a difficult time was met with wide praise from the local sports community.

For the time being, ticket takers, ushers, security guards, and part-time game night Sixers staffers will receive money while the arena is shut down, but the folks who deliver food to your seat or make the concourse cheesesteaks are shit out of luck. That resulted last week in Unite Here Local 274, the union representing those workers, sharing a letter from city council addressed to executives with the Sixers, Eagles, Flyers, and Phillies, asking them if they can “work cooperatively” with Aramark to help these people out.

I’ve tried emailing and calling Aramark over the course of 14 days now and haven’t heard anything back. The extent of their Coronavirus PR strategy appears to be a couple of website links, one that brings you to a resource page for associates with a blurb reading this way:

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A Day in the Life of the 76ers Quarantine

Coggin Toboggan - March 27, 2020

We’re all miserable, let’s face it. COVID-19 has us all locked indoors, staring at the same four walls day in and day out, forcing us to actually speak to our loved ones on a daily basis with no way to escape.

It’s a living HELL… but we can take solace in the fact that nobody is immune to social distancing. It’s almost comforting to know that the professional athletes we watch are housebound and stir crazy, albeit in extravagant mansions with every luxury at their fingertips and not squatting in ramshackle lean-tos under 295 South overpasses.

Two weeks ago the 76ers were playing in front of thousands a night. Now? They’re trapped, same as we are, wondering when this nightmare will all be over.

But what are they doing every day? Do they get up and stare into the ether, muttering nonsensical nothings to themselves for hours at a time like the author of this column? Do they work out? Play videogames? Pretend to read? What?

Delving into my vast web of sources (meaning all of this is untrue) we’ve broken open some key moments during the quarantine day for members of the 76ers franchise.

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Michael Rubin is Using Fanatics Factory to Make Coronavirus Masks and Gowns

Kevin Kinkead - March 26, 2020

Co-owner Michael Rubin was not exempt from criticism when the Sixers went through Tuesday’s public relations rollercoaster, reversing course after initially announcing a plan to temporarily reduce employee pay via staggered furloughs.

Fast forward to today, with Rubin announcing that the Fanatics factory in Easton would be shifting 100 workers to the production of masks and gowns in an effort to help combat the Coronavirus crisis.

Here’s a thread explaining what they’re doing, via Rubin himself:

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Stadium Complex Food Service Workers Are Asking for Help

Kevin Kinkead - March 25, 2020

Two Fridays ago, Comcast Spectacor and the 76ers announced that they’d be paying employees who work at the Wells Fargo Center for a period of time during the Coronavirus crisis. That includes game night staff, ticket takers, ushers, security, and other personnel who fall within the Comcast or Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment umbrella.

It leaves a portion of arena workers uncovered, however, the group that works in food and concessions and is employed by Aramark. We contacted Aramark for information regarding these employees and didn’t receive a response.

Fast forward about 12 days and here’s a video and statement from UNITE HERE local 274, which is the union representing the food service workers:

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The 76ers’ Salary Reduction Plan Didn’t Even Last 24 Hours

Kevin Kinkead - March 24, 2020

All of that negative publicity resulted in this:

We have a full statement from Josh Harris here:

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Joel Embiid is Donating $500,000 to Coronavirus Relief

Kevin Kinkead - March 24, 2020

This is how you do it:

Now Howard Eskin’s concerns are assuaged.

Need more details, of course, but at surface level this makes Embiid look really good and makes Harris/Blitzer/etc look really bad.

Edit:

What a mess this has become –

Mark Cuban Sets Over/Under for NBA Return at June 1st

Kevin Kinkead - March 24, 2020

I made a bet with Kyle last week.

I think one of the NBA, NHL, MLB, or MLS will play a game in an empty arena by June 1st. He thinks this thing will stretch on much longer than that, and the winner of the bet gets $5. This is the easiest money I’ll ever make.

June 1st was just an arbitrary date we picked, but Mavericks owner Mark Cuban seems to be going with 6/1 as well, telling Dallas TV station WFAA that he feels like that’s the over/under point for a return to action.

Speaking via Skype, Cuban said this:

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