Rudy Gobert is patient zero for the coronavirus in the NBA. He showed symptoms and tested positive for COVID-19, which forced the hand of Adam Silver and forced the suspension of the NBA season.
Gobert has been genuine, embarrassed, and apologetic in the aftermath of his diagnosis — he had been flippant about the virus before testing positive — and now he is putting his money behind those actions.
Gobert is donating $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, the Jazz announced on Saturday.
“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 a 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. Much gratitude, RG.”
Gobert’s donation puts $200,000 to help the part-time, hourly-wage employees at the Vivint Smart Home Arena who are not able to work right now due to the postponement of NBA games and other entertainment events. The Utah Jazz ownership, through Larry H. Miller Sports & Entertainment, also has set up and donated to this cause.
Gobert also is sending $100,000 each to assist families impacted by COVID-19 in Utah and Oklahoma City. Finally, he is donating 100,000 euros to help families impacted by COVID-19 in his native country of France.
Gobert had been showing cold-like symptoms from the virus (which is why he got tested) but is now reportedly doing well.
Gobert is one of the good guys in the league and backing up his words with money to help others, it’s the right thing to do.
What all this means for the Jazz going forward is a question for another day. For now, the focus is on getting everyone healthy and the NBA back on the court.