Rudy Gobert makes his apology with a big $500K donation

Rudy Gobert, the NBA’s “Patient Zero” for novel coronavirus, is trying to make up for his actions with a $500,000 donation to local arena workers and COVID-19 relief efforts.

Rudy Gobert has come under a lot of fire over the past few days, and rightfully so. With the whole world taking precautions against the coronavirus pandemic, Gobert was reportedly careless in the locker room about touching other teammates and their possessions. He even made a joke of touching every reporter’s microphones and recorders at a recent media availability session.

When the Utah Jazz‘s first-time All-Star tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday night, the league had no choice but to suspend its season, with every other major sports league and event following suit soon after. Gobert may have not been the originator of coronavirus in the NBA, but his thoughtlessness and inability to understand the severity of the situation made him its unofficial “Patient Zero.”

That was doubly true as soon as All-Star teammate Donovan Mitchell also tested positive for coronavirus. There have been no further reported cases since, but with the Jazz and the rest of the league in lockdown mode, it was only natural to wonder why the seven-footer had not taken this issue more seriously.

Rather than dwell in embarrassment, Gobert is stepping up to not only acknowledge his shortsightedness, but help make amends. According to the Jazz, the Stifle Tower will be donating $500,000 to support arena employees at Vivint Smart Home Arena and COVID-19 relief efforts in Salt Lake City, Oklahoma City (where Utah’s last game was suspended upon the discovery that Gobert had tested positive) and his native land of France.

Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune reported the breakdown of how that $500,000 will be allocated:

In a statement, Gobert said:

“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.”

Say what you will about Rudy Gobert and the immaturity that led up to this week’s unfortunate events, but at least he’s owning up to what he did and trying to make things right.

We have no idea how large a role anyone specific person has played in the continued spread of COVID-19, but without being able to go back in time, this kind of aid is all anyone can really ask for at this point.

Next: The Life Without NBA Basketball Diary – Day 3

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