In response to the millions of people who have been furloughed due to COVID-19, Philadelphia Phillies slugger Bryce Harper told all of those impacted by the pandemic that he “feels their pain.” As Major League Baseball and the players union struggle to find an agreement to move forward with a 2020 season, Harper stands to lose up to $10 million of his current contract, which amounts to $330 million over 13 years.
“This is a very difficult time for all us,” Harper told reporters Friday, while wearing a black t-shirt blazoned with the hashtag #wereinthistogether. “Millions are out of work right now, myself included. America, I feel your pain.”
A handful of Americans expressed thanks for Harper’s comments. “It was a powerful statement,” said Sheila Johnson, who reporters later found out has never seen a baseball game. “It goes to show that we truly are all in this together.”
Update: The woman cited in this article, Sheila Johnson, did not know that Harper was a major league baseball player, but rather a local coffee shop owner in town named Bryson Harper. She later recanted her statement.