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Magic Johnson’s EquiTrust to Donate $100M to Support Minority-Owned Businesses

When Earvin “Magic” Johnson retired from playing professional basketball in 2000, it was already obvious that he was not the sort of man who would just retire and ride out his substantial fortune for the rest of his days. He’d already tried his hand at coaching, and at hosting a television show, and starting a record label. And he was just getting started.

Today, Johnson runs Magic Johnson Enterprises, a diverse conglomerate company with a net worth over $700 million, which dabbles in dozens of different industries. Briefly, he owned 125 Starbucks locations. At another time, a chain of movie theaters in his name. For a while, he owned part of the L.A. Lakers and a Pepsi bottling plant in Washington. And he continues to own a controlling interest in EquiTrust Life Insurance Company.

Under his direction, EquiTrust is going to donate $100 million in capital to fund federal loans for business owners who have been struck down by the COVID-19 pandemic, prioritizing minorities and children.

The donation, which will be distributed as forgivable loans via lender MBE Capital Partners, will be governed by the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program, the small business stimulus plan meant to help small businesses keep their staff on the payroll, giving them a greater chance of weathering the crisis.

“These are incredible businesses, small businesses, that have been the pillar of our community that also employ a lot of black and brown people in our community,” Johnson said on MSNBC on Sunday, May 17. “… We wanted to make sure that minority-owned businesses got small business loans through the PPP program.”

His statement alludes to the concern that minority-owned businesses have been left out, after the PPP stimulus has run out, been renewed, and run out of funds again, with large percentages of the package being snapped up by businesses which are not by any means ‘small.’

Source: CNN

Editorial credit: EPG_EuroPhotoGraphics / Shutterstock.com

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University Of Kentucky Cancels Alumni Charity Game

University of Kentucky Rupp Arena
Rupp Arena will not host the annual charity game this year.
Image: RuppArena.com

Originally scheduled for August 24th in Rupp Arena, the University of Kentucky has canceled its UK Alumni Charity Game. Unfortunately, several NBA players were unavailable to attend the event, including DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, and John Wall.

“With what we’ve been able to do with bringing our guys back for our fans and raising money for charity, the UK Alumni Charity Game has turned into one of my favorite events at UK,” coach John Calipari said in a release. “Unfortunately, due to a number of circumstances out of our control, we are going to have to cancel this year’s game.

Fans who had previously purchased a ticket for the event will be refunded in full. The season will start for the Kentucky Wildcats this year when they host the annual start to the season with Big Blue Madness on October 17th.

The team also said that the cancellation was also out of respect to player Paul George, who was injured at the Team USA camp this summer. “We consider the alumni game to be a first-class experience, but without the presence of several of our key alums who had previous commitments, including to USA Basketball, we didn’t feel we could meet the standard that we have set for fans,” Calipari said. “We still had enough commitments to field our team, but it was becoming increasingly difficult to secure enough members for the non-UK team.”

This year’s cancellation will certainly be a disappointment to players, fans, and the charities involved. Hopefully next year the tradition can be continued once more—perhaps even better than ever.