After online criticism, 76ers reverse decision to cut pay for some workers amid virus pandemic

Dave Uram
March 24, 2020 - 9:47 am

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UPDATED: 3:45 p.m.

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The 76ers have made a 180.

Within 24 hours, the organization reversed a decision to temporarily cut salaries up to 20% of some full-time employees. The organization said the cuts were meant to help pay its 1,500 hourly workers through the season amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement, owner Joshua Harris said: "After listening to our staff and players, it’s clear that was the wrong decision. We have reversed it and will be paying these employees their full salaries."

Related: The latest coronavirus news from Pennsylvania and New Jersey

Initially, the pay reduction was reportedly for employees who make $50,000 or more, and the cuts would have been up to 20%. This temporary change also involved moving to a four-day work week, all to avoid layoffs. 

The New York Times first reported the story, and it was later confirmed in a statement by Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment CEO Scott O’Neil. HBSE is the company that owns the Sixers and New Jersey Devils.

Devils employees were asked to take part in the same program.

The paycut news received a lot of blowback on social media.

The reversal decision comes after it was reported that Sixers star Joel Embiid said he will donate $500,000 toward COVID-19 medical relief and to help team employees hurt by the pay cut.

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KYW Newsradio's Matt Leon contributed to this report.