With the entire sports world shut down amid coronavirus concerns, the United States’ first professional athlete diagnosed with COVID-19 is taking action to help others affected by the pandemic.
Gobert was an interesting “patient zero” within the NBA, as just two days prior he’d mocked the coronavirus threat by touching reporters’ microphones and recorders at a media availability. Since then, it’s come out that teammate Donovan Mitchell and a child who’d received an autograph from Gobert also were infected.
The center has since apologized for his careless and embarrassing behavior and for not taking the virus seriously, and per the Jazz, he’s taking his apology a step further.
Gobert pledged to contribute $500 thousand to part-time employees and COVID-19 related services, with $200 thousand going to part-time employees of Vivint Smart Home Arena who are out of work until games resume, another $200 thousand to be split between families affected by coronavirus in Utah and Oklahoma City, and 100 thousand euros for efforts combating the virus in his native country of France.
“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,” Gobert said in the Jazz’s statement.
“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, while continuing to learn more about COVID-19 and educate others.”
Thumbnail photo via Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports Images