Los Angeles Angels two-way player Shohei Ohtani voiced his support on Friday for healthcare workers in his homeland who are battling the new coronavirus.
"I'm sure it's hard for everyone. But many people including the healthcare workers are working hard right now to solve this," Ohtani said in a statement translated by the Angels. "I'm hoping that this will help them. I think we can support each other through this, with kindness, appreciation and the thought of one another."
The comments were in response to his donation to the Japan Mask Project crowdfunding effort to supply badly needed protective masks to healthcare workers confronting the highly infectious and deadly virus.
The project is being run in cooperation with Japan Heart, a volunteer-based international healthcare organization. On Friday, the body announced an online fundraiser to raise funds for personal protective equipment.
Ohtani contributed a signed bat to the charity auction being hosted on Yahoo Auction.
Longtime Japan international soccer player Yuto Nagatomo, who attended Friday's press conference donated a signed national team kit. Bidding for the auction is set to close Sunday evening.