Toronto teams create joint fund for employees affected by COVID-19 shutdown
Tom Szczerbowski / Getty Images Sport / Getty

As the COVID-19 pandemic grows, Toronto's sports teams are stepping up for their city.

The Blue Jays, Maple Leafs, Raptors, Argonauts, and Toronto FC announced Sunday that they've teamed up to create the "Team Toronto Fund," a joint operation that will help employees of all five teams in need of extra financial assistance during the sports shutdown.

Management, coaches, and players from all five teams will personally contribute money to the fund.

"As we're dealing with these unprecedented circumstances, we're seeing this as a time where our communities can band together and take care of one another," Maple Leafs president and alternate governor Brendan Shanahan said in a statement.

"It is an honor to join my counterparts and exceptional sports leaders in our city to help make a meaningful impact on the lives of all our game-day staff," added Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro, according to a statement obtained by John Lott of The Athletic.

The Maple Leafs and Raptors had previously announced plans to pay their part-time employees for games canceled as a result of the NHL and NBA seasons being halted this week. TFC also saw its season postponed by MLS.

The Raptors were forced to self-isolate as a precaution after they faced the Utah Jazz two days before two Jazz players tested positive for COVID-19. All of the Raptors' tests came back negative.

The coronavirus also caused Blue Jays spring training to be canceled and Opening Day - originally scheduled for March 26 - was delayed at least two weeks by MLB.

While the Argos' season doesn't begin until June, the CFL canceled several league events in Toronto that were supposed to take place this month.

On Friday, Ontario's chief medical officer recommended cancelling large events of more than 250 people - including sports - due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to The Canadian Press.

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Toronto teams create joint fund for employees affected by COVID-19 shutdown
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