76ers Ownership Backtracks On Pay Cuts

After a hailstorm of negative publicity, Josh Harris, the billionaire owner of the Philadelphia 76ers, has reversed course on a planned pay cut for Sixers employees.

“Our commitment has been to do our best to keep all of our employees working through this very difficult situation,” he said in a statement.

“As part of an effort to do that we asked salaried employees to take a temporary 20% pay cut while preserving everyone’s full benefits… After listening to our staff and players, it’s clear that was the wrong decision.”

Harris, who has a net worth of $3.7 billion, released the statement of contrition less than 24 hours after the pay cuts were first reported by Mark Stein of New York Times.

Pushback was immediate, creating a PR nightmare as fans and media attacked the tone-deaf decision.

Harris’ original plan required at-will employees making more than $50, 000 to take a pay reduction, which he claimed was a way to avoid layoffs and keep full benefits for 1,500 employees. Harris later changed it to employees making more than $70, 000. It was a stark contrast to the work-friendly, proactive measures Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban took after the NBA hiatus was first announced.

Sixers star Joel Embiid, who told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne Tuesday that he would pledge $500,000 for coronavirus medical relief, tweeted his approval of ownership’s decision.

Employees will now be paid in full.