- Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert is pledging $500,000 in an effort to support both stadium employees and fund coronavirus-related services in Utah, Oklahoma City, and France.
- Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday just before tip-off in a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Hours later, the NBA season was suspended indefinitely.
- Gobert has faced criticism in recent days over his carelessness amid the coronavirus outbreak.
- He jokingly put his hands over microphones and recorders at a press conference just days before testing positive.
- With his donation, Gobert is joining an effort of several players and owners across the league to ensure that the league's hourly employees are taken care of during the stoppage, as well as support the communities that supported him through the days since his diagnosis.
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Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert is pledging more than $500,000 to support stadium workers and fund coronavirus-related social services in Utah, Oklahoma City, and his home country of France.
Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday just before tip-off in a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, bringing the NBA world to a sudden stop as play across the league was suspended indefinitely.
Since then, players and owners across the league have pledged donations to ensure the hourly workers that keep their stadiums running during game days, and have unexpectedly found themselves without work, are financially supported through the stoppage.
Gobert has pledged $200,000 to support part-time employees at Vivint Smart Home Arena, where the Jazz play their home games.
Additionally, Gobert has offered $100,000 each to Utah and Oklahoma City to assist families affected by the coronavirus. He also has offered 100,000 euros to support families in France, which has also been hit hard by the coronavirus.
"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 had faced criticism for his carelessness before his positive test brought the league to a standstill. Just days earlier, Gobert seemed to dismiss the seriousness of the virus and jokingly touched a collection of microphones and recorders set up in front of him at the end of a press conference, going against league-wide suggestions to take precautions.
Jazz teammate Donovan Mitchell has since tested positive for the virus, leading to reports of frustration with Gobert in the Utah locker room.
In the wake of his donation, some critics have given Gobert credit for recognizing his mistake and looking to move forward.
Gobert can't change what happened earlier in the week, but his actions show an effort to start taking things in the right direction.
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