By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
May 24, 2013
On Tuesday, as a ferocious tornado bore down on greater Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma City Thunder could take small comfort in their name not further contributing to the pain, and go to work hastening the healing. As we see over and over again when disaster strikes the U.S., America’s sports teams and athletes are always there as second responders behind the emergency crews, ready to help with open hearts and open wallets. It’s been no different this week in Oklahoma, when Kevin Durant and the Thunder led a fast break of outreach and generosity.
Durant, through his charity, the Kevin Durant Family Foundation, pledged $1 million to the American Red Cross. His donation came a day after "encouraging his fans to make $10 donations" to the disaster relief group. Not to be outdone by their star forward, the Thunder and the Thunder Cares Foundation later "announced a joint donation" of $1 million to benefit the local chapters of the Red Cross and the Salvation Army.
Thunder sponsors in the area stepped up as well. Chesapeake Energy Corp., whichholds naming rights to the Thunder’s home arena,also donated $1 million to the American Red Cross to aid in recovery efforts, while Oklahoma Gas and Electric donated $500,000. Devon Energy Corp. and Continental Resources Inc. each committed $2.5 million toward relief.
To ensure that aid was coming at every level, the NBA and the NBPA announced late Monday that they would also contribute $1 million to support relief efforts in Moore.