Hurricane Dorian devastated the Bahamas earlier this month, leaving at least 51 dead and around 1,300 still unaccounted for, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
The Category 5 storm was the strongest on record to ever hit the 700-island nation.
The storm, though, prompted Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson to act. Thompson was the latest public figure to pledge his support for the Bahamas, announcing that all of the proceeds from his celebrity golf tournament this week in Southern California will go toward relief efforts in the country.
Klay and his father, Mychal, believed that the tournament — which took place on Thursday and Friday at Pelican Hill Resort in Newport Coast, California — would raise at least $1 million.
“It’s hard to even put it in perspective,” Klay said about the destruction on the islands on Friday, via USA Today. “If I can raise awareness and get money to get supplies to these people and their family, it’s the least I can do. I’m just honored to be in this position.”
Thompson again takes aim at Donald Trump
When Thompson announced last week that his tournament would benefit relief efforts in the Bahamas, he made sure to rip President Donald Trump and his administration.
In the wake of the storm, the Trump Administration declined to grant temporary protective status to Bahamian refugees seeking shelter, a decision that prevented dozens of refugees from entering the United States at the last minute.
Despite bipartisan support to allow refugees from the storm into the United States, Trump defended his decision — saying that we “have to be very careful.”
“Everybody needs totally proper documentation. Because, look, the Bahamas had some tremendous problems with people going to the Bahamas that weren’t supposed to be there,” Trump said, via the Washington Post.
“I don’t want to allow people that weren’t supposed to be in the Bahamas to come into the United States — including some very bad people and very bad gang members.”
Those comments after the hurricane, Klay said, hurt his heart.
“I didn’t appreciate the language he used with Bahamians,” Thompson said Friday, via USA Today. “They’re gang members and criminals? I’ve known Bahamians my hole life. Yes, there are criminals in Nassau. But there are criminals worldwide.
“When you lose everything, your home, your loved ones and thousands are dead, and then you generalize a whole population, I thought it was very, very ill-advised and bad timing. That language really (ticked) me off.”
Mychal, who played in the NBA from 1978-1991, most notably with the Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Lakers, was born in Nassau before he moved to Miami as a teenager. The Thompsons still visit the islands frequently and have family there, too.
Naturally, his defense of the country was just as strong — if not stronger — as his son’s in the wake of Trump’s comments.
“(Trump is) wrong about the gang affiliations over there,” Mychal said, via USA Today. “There are people over there that are good people, hard-working people. So he was wrong with that statement.
“I don’t think (other) Americans have misconceptions about Bahamians. We don’t have gang problems and that type of hard problems in the Bahamas. We have people who are in need and in poverty. But for the most part, Bahamians are great people and help each other out in times of need. That’s what they’re doing right now.”
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