Covid-19 Infected NBA Player Apologizes For Endangering Others After His Teammate Is Diagnosed

It’s scary that even an athlete with a healthy immune system can get this virus, and we all here sitting in front of the computer eating chips.

If you haven’t heard, Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert contracted the Covid-19 virus, and the National Basketball Association suspended the season until further notice. As Gobert was given a press conference, he touched the mics and breathed all over the podium as a prank, not thinking the media or anyone following him could contract the virus.


ESPN is now reporting that Donovan Mitchell, Gobert’s teammate, has contracted the Covid-19 virus, and the locker room is split over Rudy’s actions.

What he did was irresponsible, yes. But they practice together. They high five each other. Sit shoulder to shoulder next to each other on the bench. I’m sure they would have been exposed regardless of his carelessness.

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Is anybody reporting on the frustration with “other people” willingly infecting people for the last week or so? If so, I sure haven’t read about it. Matter of fact, they have been getting a pass in the media. No names or public admonishment. When it comes to Rudy, he’s a top story. Smh.

I suspect that given the long gestation and infectious period of Covid-19 that this situation is going to get a whole lot worse. If there is a more nightmarish case scenario for the explosion of this virus into the broader community other than deliberate waterborne or airborne attack, I would be shocked.

I would hope that the NBA will offer all people that attended a game anywhere in the last 2 or 3 weeks access to testing. Gobert has, in effect, become the ‘outbreak monkey’ and had a relatively long pre-symptomatic period of traveling, hotel stays, and mass exposure to boot. Buckle up America.

Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus in Oklahoma City on Wednesday, causing the postponement of the Jazz’s game against the Thunder seconds before the scheduled tipoff and the suspension of the NBA season soon thereafter. Teammate and locker room neighbor Donovan Mitchell also later tested positive, the only other member of the Jazz’s traveling party to do so.

On Monday, Gobert jokingly mocked the NBA’s temporary rules requiring media members to keep a 6- to 8-foot distance from players. Gobert, a Magic Johnson Award nominee last season due to his cooperation with the media, made a point to touch all the microphones and recording devices on the table in front of him after finishing his post-shootaround availability, which was set up in an interview room at the team’s practice facility instead of the normal courtside area.

Gobert had a similar cavalier attitude in the locker room, Jazz players privately said, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. As with other NBA players, Gobert exchanged high-fives with teammates as usual in recent games despite the coronavirus crisis escalating into a pandemic. [ESPN]

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Once the virus has been contained and all players are cleared, the NBA may opt to shorten the regular season into 72 games and proceed with the playoffs to recover financial losses.


A good lesson to everybody, especially those who are strong and healthy. Gobert may rule the paint with his big size, but this coronavirus is no tiny point guard he used to bully. The virus is literally nano and lethal. Be humble, big man. I wish nobody dies or severely ill due to his irresponsible playful behavior.

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This season in all likelihood, is a wash. Putting a 30 minimum hiatus when the virus hasn’t even hit its peak only spells one thing. The NBA and many other leagues are in total reactive mode, and at the mercy of factors, they can’t control. Contrast this to the steps an organization like the UFC is taking. Years of complacency and taking the fans for granted has made many of these pro sports susceptible to this.

It’s unfortunate, but I appreciate the NBA Commissioner, Mr. Adam Silver, for caring about the public well being than the dollar bill. It hurts, but this made other sports organizations do the same thing in suspending the season until further notice. Their slogan… “The NBA cares”… The NBA honestly does care.

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Wayne Dupree

Wayne is a freelance writer who was named the 2015 American Conservative Union Blogger of the Year and awarded the 2014 Podcast Of the Year; Best in Show. He has over 160K followers on Twitter (@WayneDupreeShow) and over 300K followers on Facebook (@WayneDupreeShow). In 2016, he was named one of the Top 50 Most Influential African-American Republicans by Newsmax.

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