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Blank pledges to pay hourly workers during shutdown

Arthur Blank is the latest professional sports owner to step up in a time of crisis.

The owner of the Atlanta Falcons and Major League Soccer's Atlanta United has pledged to continue paying hourly employees who are employed under The Blank Family of Businesses, according to The Athletic, during shutdowns caused by the new coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

"We've tried to over-communicate at a time where there's no question people have personal angst and anxiety," Falcons president Rich McKay told The Athletic. "You've got to be empathetic towards it because it's real."

On Thursday, the Falcons announced they would be discontinuing business travel for team scouts and coaches and on Friday followed with the announcement that team facilities would be closed until March 27 due to the COVID-19 situation.

Blank's decision helps address major concerns harbored by those who work for an hourly wage. Owners of teams in other leagues -- Mark Cuban, for example -- have put together plans for pay during the hiatuses caused by concerns surrounding COVID-19. Blank's group encompasses multiple leagues and businesses outside of sports.

"Some work one event, some work two events, some work all events," McKay said. "We're working through all those details as we speak. We'll give it to you when we finish it and hopefully we will finish it within the next day."

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