Before testing positive for coronavirus, Gobert made a point to touch reporters’ microphones in an exaggerated manner during a pregame interview

By Gabrielle Chung
March 12, 2020 05:56 PM
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Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert is speaking out after testing positive for the coronavirus.

On Thursday, the NBA star, 27, addressed his “careless” behavior prior to his COVID-19 diagnosis in an Instagram post, publicly apologizing to “the people that I may have endangered” after a video of him seemingly making light of the ongoing pandemic by touching reporters’ microphones and recorders in an exaggerated manner surfaced online.

“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 athlete wrote on Instagram on Thursday. “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.”

In the video that was taken before a game on Monday, Gobert can be seen getting up from his seat after an interview. As he begins to leave the room, the athlete turns around to wipe his hands on the mouthpiece of several microphones attached to a podium before exiting.

He continued, “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.”

Gobert added in his post, “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
Rudy Gobert
| Credit: Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

Gobert, who the Utah Jazz listed as “questionable” due to illness right before Wednesday’s game, tested positive for the coronavirus two days following the incident captured on video.

Following Gobert’s COVID-19 diagnosis, the NBA suspended the remainder of the season.

“The NBA announced that a player on the Utah Jazz has preliminary tested positive for COVID-19. The test was reported shortly prior to the tip-off of tonight’s game between the Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena,” the NBA said in a statement.

“The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of tonight’s schedule of games until further notice. The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.”

As of March 12, there have been at least 1,504 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 39 deaths in the United States, according to The New York Times.

The majority of U.S. cases are in Washington state, California and New York, and all three have declared a state of emergency to redirect funding.