Rafael Nadal and Pau Gasol’s inspiring coronavirus fundraising drive: ‘We cannot let you down now’

Shahida Jacobs
Rafael Nadal competing

Rafael Nadal and NBA star Pau Gasol have launched a fundraising drive, challenging their fellow Spanish athletes to help raise €11 million (about £9.9m) to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Spain has been one of the hardest hit countries as more than 4,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the country while the number of cases has climbed to nearly 60,000.

World No 2 and 19-time Grand Slam winner Nadal and two-time NBA winner Gasol called on their fellow sports stars to help raise money to fight the virus.

“In this situation which is totally new for everyone, after giving it further thought, I have come to the conclusion that you, the Spanish people, have never failed us, the athletes. You have always been by our side in happy moments, (but also) in difficult times,” Nadal said in a video on social media.

“You have always had understanding with us when things have not gone well, but when things have gone well you have always been there celebrating with all of us our joy.

“I think that athletes are what we are in large part thanks to your support, and now is the time that athletes cannot let you down now. That’s why I decided to call my friend Pau. Together we came to the conclusion of starting this initiative to which we trust that all Spanish sport will unite and give a good example of unity.

“We’re teaming up with the Red Cross Respond project. In this project the Red Cross is supplying medical equipment, they are building hospital infrastructures, they are helping the most vulnerable families, and they are also creating accommodation for special groups and many other things.

“The objective is clear: To get 11 million Euros for helping 1,350,000 people. We trust that all Spanish sports will come together and support the initiative to achieve our goal. Pau and I have already made our donation. We rely on you because surely this is going to be our best victory.”

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