The first NBA player to test positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus, Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert, has made a pledge to donate money to help those who have been affected by the outbreak. It was reported by ESPN’s Tim Bontemps that Gobert will be donating $500,000 to the part-time employees of Vivint Smart Home Arena, the home of the Utah Jazz, and to other coronavirus-related services in Oklahoma City, Utah and his home country of France.
$200,000 will go to the arena employees who are unable to work during the NBA suspension. Another $100,000 will go toward assisting families who have been affected by the coronavirus in Utah and Oklahoma City, and Gobert will also send 100,000 euros to France.
Gobert said in an NBA statement:
I am humbled by the tireless efforts and care of people around the globe for those affected by COVID-19, especially my own communities of Utah and France, in addition to my appreciation for the state of Oklahoma and my care there, and of course, my Utah Jazz family.
I know there are countless ways that people have been impacted. These donations are a small token that reflect my appreciation and support for all those impacted and are the first of many steps I will take to try and make a positive difference, while continuing to learn more about COVID-19 and educate others. Much gratitude, RG.
Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus on March 11, which prompted the NBA to suspend the league indefinitely.
Gobert Has Taken a Lot of Criticism For His Actions Before Being Diagnosed With COVID-19
The Utah Jazz player has been criticized for the way he treated the potential of contracting COVID-19. During a press conference on March 9, Gobert touched multiple microphones and media members’ phones in jest. Here is the video:
It was reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that Gobert’s teammates viewed his actions as “careless.” In the locker room, Gobert was touching other players and their belongings before he tested positive.
Gobert Apologized For His Actions in a Lengthy Instagram Post
After the season was suspended, Gobert took to Instagram to apologize for his actions.
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.