— NBA (@NBA) March 15, 2020
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, March 15, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — The NBA shared a video message from Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert Sunday, saying he’s on the mend after his coronavirus diagnosis and is thanking fans for their support.
Gobert announced Saturday he is donating a half million dollars to arena workers losing work due to the suspension of the NBA season and to others impacted by COVID-19 in America and in his native France.
Gobert was diagnosed with coronavirus on Wednesday, just prior to the scheduled start of a Jazz versus Thunder game in Oklahoma. The game was cancelled, then the NBA postponed the season. Gobert’s teammate, Donovan Mitchell, was diagnosed shortly afterward.
Footage making the rounds online shows Gobert playfully touching all of the microphones and phones from media that were put in front him during a press conference days before news broke that he had tested positive for the coronavirus.
In the video message Sunday, which was viewed some 562,000 times in the first hour it was tweeted, Gobert says: “Hey what’s up everyone, it’s Rudy Gobert. Just wanted to give you guys a little update. I’m going to start by saying thank you, to all the people that have been supportive, and all the positive energy. It really means a lot.
“As for myself, I’m feeling a little better every single day. Thanks to the people of Utah, and Oklahoma City, and all the great people around me. As you may already know, I’m just wanting to remind you guys to keep washing your hands, frequently, with soap and water, try to avoid touching your face, your nose, your eyes, and of course try to avoid making unnecessary contact with people. It’s all about protecting yourself and the people around you. I wish I would have taken this thing more seriously, and I hope everyone else will do so, because we can do it together. Take care and stay safe.”
The Jazz announced Gobert’s donation on Saturday in a news release.
“The Utah Jazz announced today that Rudy Gobert is donating more than $500,000 to support both the employee relief fund at Vivint Smart Home Arena and COVID-related social services relief in Utah, Oklahoma City and within the French health care system,” a statement on the team’s website says.
“The pledged donation will provide $200,000 in aid to part-time employees at the home arena of the Utah Jazz who are not able to work due to the postponement of NBA games and other entertainment events, in conjunction with employee assistance efforts already being undertaken by Larry H. Miller Sports & Entertainment.
“Additionally, Gobert will contribute $100,000 each to assist families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in Utah and Oklahoma City plus 100,000 euros for his native country of France.”
Emerging areas of pressing need include childcare assistance to health care workers as well as for caregivers to the elderly, the statement said.