How the sporting world has come together in a time of crisis

As the globe figures how best way to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, the sporting world has rightfully taken a backseat.

It’s tough to fathom the scale of what we’re dealing with and now more than ever, the whole world must be united in facing this situation and that means working together, being kind and most of all, staying home.

Even in the bleakest of circumstances, we’ve seen the struggle bring out the best in so many people and organisations.

Here are just a few of the ways the sporting world has chipped to in this fight.

Lionel Messi

A hospital clinic in Barcelona revealed that Messi had donated €500k to them and another medical centre in Argentina.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo alongside his agent Jorge Mendes donated an estimated €1m to three hospitals in Portugal.

Pep Guardiola

The Manchester City manager also donated €1m to a campaign launched by the Angel Soler Daniel Foundation and Medical College of Barcelona.

Robert Lewandowski

The Bayern Munich striker donated and his wife Anna have donated €1m..

“We’re all well aware of the difficult situation we’re currently going through,” the pair told German publication Sport Bild.

“Today we’re all playing on the same team. We need to be strong in this fight. If we can help someone, let’s do it. The situation affects all of us so we ask you to follow instructions and listen to those who know best.

United and City donate to Manchester food banks

Both clubs donated a combined £100,000 to ensure local food banks can continue to operate.

In a joint statement, City and United said: “We are proud of the role our supporters play in helping local food banks and recognise the increased strain likely to be placed on these charities by the impact of coronavirus. We are pleased to come together with our fans to help vulnerable members of society in a City United.”

Merseyside joins forces

Both Everton and Liverpool have offered their support for local food banks.

Everton announced it was launching a £50,000 “Blue Family” campaign that will deliver essential food parcels, financial assistance for prescription purchases, mobile phone credit for people living alone, support for increased fuel bills and mental health advice.

Liverpool have donated £40,000 to Fans Supporting Foodbanks while players and LFC Foundation committed £10,000 per game for the final four home matches of the season to cover the impact of lost matchday collections. 

Burnley players man the phones

With elderly fans facing the prospect of 12 weeks isolation, Burnley players picked up the phone for a chat with them.

“At this difficult time, it’s important for us all to do what we can to help,” said captain Ben Mee.

“Trying to keep everyone fit and healthy is the most important thing, but that can lead to other issues such as loneliness and isolation.

“Hopefully this will raise spirits for those getting the calls and those able to watch the clips and it was really nice to speak directly to someone so appreciative of the chance to chat.”


The french champions pledged €100,000 the country’s Secours Populaire charity to help fight the coronavirus crisis.

Roger Federer

Roger Federer and his wife Mirka donated one million Swiss francs ($1.02 million) “for the most vulnerable families” in Switzerland.

“These are challenging times for everyone and nobody should be left behind,” the tennis icon wrote on social media. 

“Our contribution is just a start,” Federer added. “We hope that others might join in supporting more families in need. Together we can overcome this crisis.”

Free tickets for NHS heroes

Brighton and Hove Albion have started a campaign to make 100,000 free tickets available to NHS workers across professional football.

Bournemouth quickly joined, Jeff Mostyn, the club’s chairman, said: “We fully appreciate football is the last thing on anyone’s minds at this moment, but we feel this is a small way in which we can show our gratitude for those NHS staff on the frontline, fighting the battle on all of our behalf – and give them something to look forward to.


The Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers, Sacramento Kings, Philadelphia 76ers, San Antonia Spurs among many others have agreed to compensate hourly workers and stadium staff during the NBA season’s hiatus.

The Golden State Warriors also pledged to donate one million dollars to a disaster relief fund. 

Shahid Afridi

Pakistan cricket captain has put himself to work by handing out and donating essential items to those most in need in his country.

Zion Williamson 

19-year-old Zion Williamson offered to pay the salaries for the employees of the Smoothie King Center arena in New Orleans. 

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The people of New Orleans have been incredibly welcoming and supportive since I was Drafted by the Pels last June, and some of the most special people I have met are those who work at smoothie King Center. These are the folks who make our games possible, creating the perfect environment for our fans and everyone involved in the organization. Unfortunately, many of them are still recovering from long term challenges created by Katrina, and now face the economic impact of the postponement of games because of the virus. My mother has always set an example for me about being respectful for others and being grateful for what we have, and so today I am pledging to cover the salaries for all of those Smoothie King Center workers for the next 30 days. This is a small way for me to express my support and appreciation for these wonderful people who have been so great to me and my teammates and hopefully we can all join together to relieve some of the stress and hardship caused by this national health crisis. This is an incredibly resilient city full of some of the most resilient people, but sometimes providing a little extra assistance can make things a little easier for the community.

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The NHS heroes again

The Terrace Life released these limited NHS kit mugs, with all profits going to NHS Charities Together.

Stuart Broad and Harry Gurney’s pub

Cricket stars Broad and Gurney offered to open up a pub they co-own as a takeaway and village shop, offering a free delivery service to over-70s and NHS workers in the local area. 

Roman Abramovich

The Chelsea owner announced that the Stamford Bridge Millennium Hotel was open to accommodate NHS staff for free.

In a statement on the club’s website: “The initiative came from club owner Roman Abramovich and, after contact with the NHS was made by Chairman Bruce Buck, it was decided the best way Chelsea can assist the NHS is to provide accommodation for NHS staff.

“Mr Abramovich will be covering the costs of providing the accommodation.”

Gary Neville

Neville announced he would be closing his Hotel Football and Stock Exchange venues, freeing up 176 beds that NHS staff could use for free.


The National Football League announced that in collaboration with the National Football League Players Association, clubs, owners and players, more than $35 million has been donated to date, including $3.4M from the NFL Foundation as part of the COVID-19 relief efforts.

Featured image credit: Getty