On March 11, Utah Jazz NBA player Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19 coronavirus. After his positive test, the NBA suspended the league indefinitely. Less than a full day later, Gobert’s teammate Donovan Mitchell tested positive as well. After he received some criticism for not taking the coronavirus seriously before he tested positive, Gobert issued an apology.
His post reads, “I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of concern and support over the last 24 hours. I have gone through so many emotions since learning of my diagnosis…mostly fear, anxiety, and embarrassment. The first and most important thing is I would like to publicly apologize to the people that I may have endangered. At the time, I had no idea I was even infected. I was careless and make no excuse. I hope my story serves as a warning and causes everyone to take this seriously. I will do whatever I can to support using my experience as way to educate others and prevent the spread of this virus. I am under great care and will fully recover. Thank you again for all your support. I encourage everyone to take all of the steps to stay safe and healthy. Love.”
It Has Been Reported That Teammates Viewed Gobert’s Actions as ‘Careless’
Earlier, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Donovan Mitchell is the only other Jazz player to have tested positive for the coronavirus. He also said that Jazz players have apparently said “that Rudy Gobert had been careless in the locker room touching other players and their belongings.”
Shamas Charania, NBA writer for The Athletic, also confirmed that Donovan Mitchell was the only other Jazz player or personnel to test positive. 58 tests were administered and all others were negative.
Gobert Jokingly Touched Reporters’ Mics & Phones
Before he tested positive for COVID-19, Gobert had made light of the situation at a press conference on March 9, touching microphones and phones from the media.
Here is a video of Gobert via sports reporter Dave Fox:
The NBA announced late on March 11 that the season would be suspended. Here is the official statement from the NBA:
The NBA announced that a player on the Utah Jazz has preliminarily tested positive for COVID-19. The test result was reported shortly prior to tip-off of tonight’s game between the Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena. At that time, tonight’s game was canceled. The affected player was not in the arena.
The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of tonight’s schedule of games until further notice. The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.