Rudy Gobert apologizes on Instagram for his ‘careless’ actions

Rudy Gobert has become the unfortunate face of the coronavirus outbreak in the NBA. He has apologized on Instagram for careless behavior that may have spread the infection.

On Wednesday night, Rudy Gobert became the NBA’s patient zero, the first player to receive a confirmed positive test for the novel coronavirus. His surprise diagnosis caused the game between the Thunder and Jazz to be called off just moments before it began, kicking off a surreal evening that saw players quarantined in locker rooms and the NBA ultimately deciding the suspend the rest of the season indefinitely.

Those circumstances alone would have put him front and center in the public eye, but Gobert had set himself up for scorn and ridicule by playfully making a point of touching every microphone and recording device in front of him as he left shootaround on Monday. That video clip went viral and painted a picture of a player who was casually and callously taking risks with the safety of those around him. Today, Gobert apologized on his Instagram account for his behavior.

The money quote there is: “The first and most important thing is I would like to publicly apologize to the people that I may have endangered. 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. I will do whatever I can to support using my experience as way to educate others and prevent the spread of this virus.”

It’s more than likely that Gobert was already infected when he was touching microphones but in his defense, he was not symptomatic at that point and the team’s medical staff didn’t have any reason to keep him out of that night’s game against the Raptors, where he probably exposed many more people.

Gobert’s apology may be specifically directed at his teammate, Donovan Mitchell, who also tested positive and who shared an Instagram message earlier in the day that included the statement, ”Hopefully people can continue to educate themselves and realize they need to behave responsibly both for their own health and the well being of those around them.”

Here’s hoping everyone gets well soon and the two teammates can eventually look back on this as nothing more than a bump in the road.

To date, more than 115,000 cases (and 4,200 deaths) have been confirmed in more than 110 countries worldwide, including the United States, which has seen more than 1,000 affected Americans and 31 deaths. The World Health Organization officially declared it a pandemic on March 9 and countries have implemented curfews, travel bans and mandatory quarantines to help prevent its spread.

Next: Everything you need to know about how coronavirus is affecting sports and entertainment

For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website or the website for your state’s Department of Health.

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