New Delhi: A video of American basketball player Rudy Gobert from the team Utah Jazz, who tested positive for coronavirus, mockingly touching reporters’ audio equipment during a press conference has gone viral on social media, with many decrying his irresponsible behaviour.
Here’s Rudy Gobert touching a bunch of reporters’ audio equipment 2 days ago. Today, he tested positive for coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/Z3Lw1yfCfW
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) March 12, 2020
Gobert had tested positive for COVID-19 Wednesday, just ahead of his game against Oklahoma City Thunder.
One Twitter user said, “It’s not about him (Gobert), he is a 20-year-old in peak physical condition he will be fine. It’s about a 50-year-old who had to take down the set up afterwards and pack it away and then set it up again for the next game.”
Yes its not about him, he is a 20 year old in peak physical condition he will be fine. It's about the 50 year old who had to take down the set up afterwards and pack it away and then set it up again for the next game.
— Hatch (@hatch_nh) March 12, 2020
Another one called him a “2nd rate comedian”, adding that “thousands of people who work the games will be without a job.”
And because of Rudy Gobert, the entire #NBA season is postponed. Thousands of people who work the games will be without a job all due to this 2nd rate comedian. 🤡 🤡
— Brandon Trowbridge (@BuyYourHomeNow) March 12, 2020
NBA suspends season
After the diagnosis, the game against Oklahoma City Thunder was postponed during tip-off with the PA repeatedly announcing: “You are all safe” to the audience. Gobert was reportedly not present in the arena during the game.
What a scene. Game between Thunder and Jazz postponed with everyone in the stands. “You are all safe,” PA announcer says repeatedly. pic.twitter.com/1FOeLHYYC6
— Alex Kantrowitz (@Kantrowitz) March 12, 2020
This also prompted the National Basketball Association to suspend the ongoing season “until further notice”.
NBA To Suspend Season Following Tonight's Games pic.twitter.com/2PTx2fkLlW
— NBA (@NBA) March 12, 2020
All the teams who played against the Utah Jazz, which includes the Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons, Toronto Raptors and Oklahoma City Thunder, have also been advised to self-quarantine as a precautionary measure.
Before the season was suspended, NBA was planning to organise the games without any spectators — Golden State Warriors’ game against the Brooklyn Nets Thursday would have been the first such game. Locker room access was also limited to coaches, front office executives, basketball and PR staff and maintaining a six to eight feet distance from the media during press meets became the norm.
Cancelled sporting events
NBA is not the only one to cancel a sporting event due to the now-declared pandemic. Football team Manchester City’s Premier League match against Arsenal on 11 March was postponed along with the Europa League ties between Sevilla and Rome. Three motor-races this season have also been postponed with the Formula E race in Jakarta, which was scheduled to be held on 6 June, being the latest addition.
In Italy, which has been severely affected by the pandemic with more than 800 people dead, the country’s Serie A was also postponed after Juventus Football Club defender Daniele Rugani tested positive for the virus.
The NBA is a professional basketball league in North America founded on 6 June 1946. It comprises of 30 teams and features the best basketball players, whose drafting takes place in June every year. In 2018-2019, the NBA teams generated a revenue of $8.76 billion, an increase of roughly 750 million USD from the previous season.