On March 11, the NBA suspended its season after a player tested positive for COVID-19, also known as the novel coronavirus. That player turned out to be Utah Jazz's Rudy Gobert. And now, Gobert is contributing to multiple relief funds as people continue to fight against the global pandemic.
The Jazz announced Gobert is donating $500,000 to support the employee relief fund at Vivint Smart Home Arena (home of the Utah Jazz) and coronavirus-related social services relief in Utah, Oklahoma City, and the health care system in France.
Since the NBA suspended its season, Gobert's teammate Donovan Mitchell tested positive. Detroit's Christian Wood also tested positive; the Pistons played the Jazz on March 7.
In a statement, Gobert shared why he's donating:
"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."
Gobert added the donations are the "first of many steps" he'll take to make a positive difference against COVID-19. That includes learning more about the virus and aiming to educate others.
Two days before his positive test, Gobert had jokingly touched every media microphone before leaving a post-game press conference. Jazz players also reported Gobert had a casual attitude in the locker room, continuing to make contact with other players. Gobert later apologized for his actions.
The money will be divided four ways: $200,000 will go to part-time employees at the Jazz's arena, with $100,000 each going to affected families in Utah and Oklahoma City. Finally, Gobert, who is French, is donating €100,000 to France's health care system.
The NBA suspended activities for at least 30 days. The teams that recently played the Jazz, including the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics, are continuing to self-isolate. The Toronto Raptors, the team that most recently played in Salt Lake City, have tested their entire travel party. All of those tests came back negative.
For his part, it looks like Gobert is trying to make amends for his actions. In an apology shared on Instagram, he said he hopes his story "serves as a warning and causes everyone to take this seriously."