Christian Wood tests positive for coronavirus, Rudy Gobert issues apology
March 12, 2020
Update 9:06 p.m.: Christian Wood of the Detroit Pistons tested positive for coronavirus COVID-19, according to reports. Wood is currently in good health and exhibiting no symptoms. The former first-round draft pick out of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas becomes the first non-Jazz player to contract the virus.
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert–the first high-profile athlete diagnosed with coronavirus COVID-19– issued an apology via Instagram Thursday afternoon.
In his post, the two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year petitioning players and fans to remain cautious while offering a message of optimism stating that he expects to make a full recovery. However, the former first-round draft pick out of France also recognized his mistakes, accepting full responsibility while offering “no excuse.”
Gobert’s tweet reads: “I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of concern and support over the last 24 hours. I have gone through so many emotions since learning of my diagnosis…mostly fear, anxiety, and embarrassment. 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. I am under great care and will fully recover. Thank you again for all your support. I encourage everyone to take all of the steps to stay safe and healthy. Love.”
— Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) March 12, 2020
Gobert came under criticism for his cavalier approach to the pandemic and the dangers it presents. After a press conference following the Jazz’ 101-92 loss to the Toronto Raptors, Gobert mocked the virus by touching each microphone on his way out.
Video shows Rudy Gobert, an NBA player who reportedly tested positive for coronavirus, touching microphones with his hands after speaking with reporters on Monday https://t.co/ekxauQo8KV pic.twitter.com/pd7Q9vJkCz
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 12, 2020
Following the diagnosis, the NBA opted to suspend the remainder of the regular season. The NBA G-League soon followed suit before the NCAA announced the cancelation of both its March Madness and conference tournaments. The NHL and WTA also announced that they would suspend competition while Major League Baseball canceled all spring training games and pushed back its regular season start date by two weeks.
In an unfortunate bit of irony, Gobert’s teammates Donovan Mitchell contracted coronavirus COVID-19, as well. Reports indicate that Jazz players privately condemned Gobert’s nonchalant attitude, claiming the Jazz center routinely touched other players’ persons and belongings.