The Los Angeles Lakers confirmed on Monday that they returned a loan obtained through the U.S. government’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) after learning that funds in the federal program had been depleted. The loans were intended to help smaller businesses with no more than 500 employees cover employee payroll and rent, with large sectors of the U.S. economy frozen amid coronavirus lockdowns and social distancing mandates.
The team said in a statement: “The Lakers qualified for and received a loan under the Payroll Protection Program. However, 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 16-time NBA Finals champions had received a reported $4.6 million loan through the program. The team’s decision comes as some large, publicly traded U.S. companies face backlash for obtaining aid from the program through a loophole.
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