Utah Jazz star Rudy Gobert apologizes for joking actions about coronavirus before positive test

ByABC7.com staff KABC logo
Friday, March 13, 2020
Utah Jazz player apologizes joke at press event after diagnosed positive for COVID-19
Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert, who has tested positive for coronavirus, is apologizing for jokingly touching microphones at a press conference before his diagnosis.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (KABC) -- At least two NBA players have tested positive for coronavirus as the league temporarily suspends the season to try to help contain the outbreak.

Utah Jazz players Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. As the news came out first about Gobert on Wednesday, the NBA stopped the Jazz-Oklahoma City Thunder game that was about to start and then announced it was suspending the season. Other Jazz players were temporarily isolated and tested for coronavirus.

Before he was diagnosed, Gobert was seen at a press conference jokingly touching reporters' microphones and equipment as he exited the room.

On Thursday, Gobert wrote an Instagram post thanking people for their support and apologizing for his "careless" behavior.

"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."

He added that he was receiving good medical care and expects to recover.

Also, retired NBA star and TV analyst Charles Barkley said he is self-quarantining after feeling ill.

He said in an interview with his TNT colleagues that he had traveled to New York and then went he went to Atlanta on Wednesday, he wasn't feeling well. After consulting with doctors, he decided to get tested for coronavirus and self-quarantine for 48 hours while awaiting results.

Elsewhere within the NBA, the Detroit Pistons, Boston Celtics, Washington Wizards and Toronto Raptors all recently played against the Utah Jazz. All of those teams are now requiring that some of the players and staff self-quarantine for as many as 14 days.

The two confirmed players are each coping with their diagnosis. Mitchell wrote in an Instagram post, "We are learning more about the seriousness of this situation and hopefully people can continue to educate themselves and realize that they need to behave responsibly both for their own health and for the well being of those around them."