A major moment in informing the American public about the dangers of COVID-19 came on Wednesday night, when Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive. As a result, a game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Jazz was hastily postponed, the NBA opted to go on hiatus for at least a month, and a collection of sports leagues opted to press pause for the time being or straight up cancel major events, like the NCAA Tournament.
One of Gobert’s teammates, Donovan Mitchell, also tested positive for coronavirus, and the All-Star center expressed remorse for being “careless.” On Saturday, Gobert and the Jazz announced that the big man will make a sizable donation, one that will support arena workers in Utah and those who need support as the disease spreads in his home country of France, Oklahoma City, and Utah.
In all, Gobert will donate about $500,000, with $200,000 going towards part-time workers who are out of a job while the Jazz do not play home games. Families who need help in Oklahoma City and Utah will get $100,000 each, while families who need help in France, an area that has been hit particularly hard in recent days, will receive 100,000 euros. According to the release, a portion of the funds will go towards “childcare assistance to health care workers as well as for caregivers to the elderly.”
Gobert said the following in a statement:
“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.
“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. Much gratitude, RG.”
With this gesture, Gobert becomes the latest NBA player to dedicate funds to helping those impacted by coronavirus to one extent or another. A host of players have also put up cash to support part-time arena workers who will not get paychecks with games put on hold, while Steph and Ayesha Curry put money towards children who won’t get consistent meals dude to school closures in Alameda County.