NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Sports figures are doing more than just raising money to help people in need during the coronavirus outbreak. Some are being much more active.
The sports world is helping, some players through donations and some through connections. Stephon Marbury is one of them.
The former Knicks star and Brooklyn native wants to help provide 10 million masks to hospitals. Since retiring from the NBA he has become a celebrity in China and is using those connections to get New York City the coveted N95 masks direct from the manufacturer at cost.
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And hockey equipment maker BAUER Is now mass producing face shields out of materials slated for helmets.
In four days the company went from design to prototype to transforming its production lines and is now creating 4,000 face shields a day. Within 48 hours, BAUER received a million orders. CBS2’s Steve Overmyer spoke with Mary Kay Messier, the VP of marketing, and asked how the company pivoted to help fill the orders.
“We started to provide information on Bauer.com to other companies that are creating medical shields. Then we went a step further because there’s so much demand. We published our manufacturer’s instructions, as well as the design, so other companies can learn how to do it and how they can re-purpose their manufacturing plants,” Messier said.
Companies that would be rivals are now working together?
“Yeah, we’ve talked about that a lot and I think the beauty of hockey is that we are a close-knit community and family,” Messier said. “But I think to your point, there are no rivals. We’re all on the same team fighting a global pandemic. And we’ve seen companies come together and figure out how to work together and you’ve got some of the brightest minds in the world.”
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Similar to World War II, does it speak to the times as all of these companies are coming together?
“Every single individual needs to figure out how they can contribute. I think you’re right. There is a parallel to World War II where every single person felt an obligation to figure out what they could do and how they can contribute,” Messier said.