The Paycheck Protection Plan was a government-run program meant to assist small businesses as they deal with the financial hardships resulting from the coronavirus and related quarantine efforts.
Yet, according to a report, the Los Angeles Lakers, the NBA’s second most valuable franchise, somehow thought they should apply for the loan.
According to Darren Rovell of the Action Network:
Confirmed that the Los Angeles Lakers were the only NBA team to ask for a Paycheck Protection Plan loan from the Small Business Administration. They received $4.6M and, as first reported by @kevinarnovitz, they have now returned it.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) April 27, 2020
What’s worse, somehow, someone at the Small Business Administration decided that one of the world’s wealthiest sports franchises actually qualified for the loan.
The Lakers claim that they decided to return the money after the loan program ran out of money.
“The Lakers qualified for and received a loan under the Payroll Protection Program,” the Lakers said in a statement on Monday. “Once we found out the funds from the program had been depleted, we repaid the loan so that financial support would be directed to those most in need. The Lakers remain completely committed to supporting both our employees and our community.”
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin called the Lakers loan application “outrageous.”
“I’m not a big fan of the fact that they took a $4.6 million,” Mnuchin told CNBC’s Squawk Box. “I think that’s outrageous.”
The Lakers, along with the New York Knicks, are the league’s most valuable franchises.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn