by Alex Poletti
Photo by For The Win – USAToday
In an incredible show of public support, citizens of the United States have done all they can to contribute to charity efforts to help billionaire Tillman Fertitta, owner of the Houston Rockets, who was described by Fox News host Brian Kilmeade as the man “most holistically affected” by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Seeing his struggles on television really made me reevaluate everything that’s been going on,” Charles Mangold, a contributor to a charity fund for Fertitta, says. “People are dying left and right and many can’t afford to live any more, but seeing a billionaire lay off workers and lose a minute fraction of his total net worth really gave me some empathy.”
A relatively unknown presence in the world of sports media, the Texas native made a name for himself for his charitable spirit: Fertitta, the CEO of restaurant conglomerate Landry’s, Inc., laid off 45,000 workers in a move he described to Kilmeade as a favor.
“A lot of times over the past few weeks we have seen true selfishness come out,” Jennifer McClain, a newfound Rockets fan, says. “But hearing Tillman’s story really gave me hope. Some basketball players are single handedly supporting stadium workers, but not my man Tillman. He, with his net worth of $4.4 billion, is giving a true gift to his workers: unemployment.”
After news broke, it didn’t take long for folks to start opening their wallets to support the billionaire restaurateur. Fertitta, the scientific mixture of Lex Luthor and a crustless breakfast quiche, has amassed over $50,000 in donations from everyday citizens hoping to make a difference.
“He’s done so much,” Patrick Rodriguez, who donated half of his government stimulus check to Fertitta, explains. “Cutting losses and letting down the people who rely on his businesses to survive just to keep his profit margins high—doesn’t he deserve a little spending money of his own?”
Of course it doesn’t need to be said, but his charitable actions and good spirit have reflected well on the Houston Rockets, an organization that was already very well-liked within the basketball world.
“And to think, I didn’t know it was possible to like the Houston Rockets any more than I already did!” Mangold exclaims.