Rudy Gobert Purposefully Touched Reporters' Microphones 2 Days Before Testing Positive for Coronavirus
Following Gobert testing positive for coronavirus, the NBA announced it was suspending its season on Wednesday
While meeting in an interview room, instead of a locker room, as part of the league’s response to the outbreak, Gobert, 27, made a point to touch reporters’ microphones and recorders in an exaggerated manner during a pregame interview on Monday, seemingly a joke at the league’s cautiousness.
In a video that surfaced on social media, 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 leaving the room.
“As part of the Jazz’s COVID-19 response, shootaround availability was done in the ZBBC media room today rather than on the court. As Rudy Gobert got finished discussing the situation, he stood up, leaned over and made it a point to touch every mic and recorder in front of him,” Salt Lake Tribune‘s Eric Walden reported.
On Wednesday, the NBA suspended the remainder of the season after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for coronavirus.
“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.”
The NBA’s decision to suspend its games comes after the National Collegiate Athletic Association announced that March Madness will be held without fans in attendance.
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NCAA President Mark Emmert revealed the news in a statement on Wednesday, explaining, “My decision is based on the current understanding of how COVID-19 is progressing in the United States.”
“The NCAA continues to assess the impact of COVID-19 in consultation with public health officials and our COVID-19 advisory panel. Based on their advice and my discussions with the NCAA Board of Governors, I have made the decision to conduct our upcoming championship events, including the Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, with only essential staff and limited family attendance,” Emmert shared.
As of March 11, there are now at least 1,240 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 37 COVID-19-related 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.