Utah All-Star center Rudy Gobert, the first NBA player to test positive for the coronavirus, has pledged more than $500,000 “to support both the employee relief fund at Vivint Smart Home Arena and COVID-related social services relief in Utah, Oklahoma City and within the French health care system,” the Jazz said in a news release on Saturday.
Gobert’s teammate, All-Star Donovan Mitchell, also tested positive when Jazz players and personnel were tested following Gobert’s diagnosis, which was discovered just before Utah was scheduled to play a road game against Oklahoma City. The game was postponed, then the NBA suspended its season.
The Jazz said $200,000 of the donation will go to part-time Jazz employees who won’t be able to work while the season is suspended, $100,000 each to assist families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in Utah and Oklahoma City and 100,000 euros to France, where Gobert was born and raised.
Gobert, who had been ill, was immature earlier in the week in front of Jazz reporters, touching their microphones and recorders at the conclusion of an interview session after the NBA had instructed players to be cautious about spreading germs during the outbreak.
On Thursday, Gobert apologized “to the people that I may have endangered.”
“At the time, I had no idea I was even infected,” Gobert posted on Instagram. “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.”