NBA player Rudy Gobert touching the mics during a press conference, just before testing positive for coronavirus | Twitter screen grab
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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.

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.”

Another one called him a “2nd rate comedian”, adding that “thousands of people who work the games will be without a job.”


Also read: MEA appoints COVID Coordinator to streamline global efforts on coronavirus


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.

This also prompted the National Basketball Association to suspend the ongoing season “until further notice”.

 

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.


Also read: Govt cancels visas except diplomatic, employment ones until 15 April amid coronavirus outbreak


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.


Also read: Coronavirus patients shed virus even after their symptoms subside, says German study


 

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