Rudy Gobert, NBA player who tested positive for coronavirus after 'carelessness,' donates $500K to relief

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Saturday, March 14, 2020

Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert, the first NBA player to test positive for the new coronavirus, will donate $500,000 to an employee relief fund at his home stadium and other COVID-19-related relief efforts.

The team announced that Gobert's donation will benefit more than 800 part-time employees put on temporary leave at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City as well as social service relief in Utah, Oklahoma City and within the French health care system.

"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," Gobert said in a statement.

The French basketball player's positive test results prompted the NBA to suspend the season. Jazz teammate Donovan Mitchell also tested positive, and other NBA teams and staff were put in self-quarantine for as many as 14 days.

Before, Gobert was not among those taking precautions.

He "jokingly" touched all the tape recorders that were placed before him on a table at a press conference, devices that reporters who cover the Jazz were using.

"You know, there's not much we can do right now," Gobert said in that session when asked about how teams are dealing with the virus. And a minute or so later, before he ran out a side door, he touched all the recorders.

He has since apologized. "I was careless and make no excuse," Gobert said in an Instagram post.