Footage of a Monday press conference showed Gobert, an All-Star player for the NBA’s Utah Jazz, touching journalists’ microphones and recorders in arguing that the public was overreacting to the illness threat.
On Wednesday, however, Gobert tested positive for coronavirus shortly before a game with the Oklahoma City Thunder was set to begin. The game was immediately postponed.
Assuring fans he was under “great care,” Gobert issued a lengthy apology on Instagram Thursday, noting he “had no idea” he was infected at the time of the press conference incident.
“I was careless and make no excuse,” Gobert wrote. “I hope my story serves as a warning and causes everyone to take this seriously. I will do whatever I can to support using my experience as way to educate others and prevent the spread of this virus.”
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I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of concern and support over the last 24 hours. I have gone through so many emotions since learning of my diagnosis…mostly fear, anxiety, and embarrassment. The first and most important thing is I would like to publicly apologize to the people that I may have endangered. At the time, I had no idea I was even infected. I was careless and make no excuse. I hope my story serves as a warning and causes everyone to take this seriously. I will do whatever I can to support using my experience as way to educate others and prevent the spread of this virus . I am under great care and will fully recover. Thank you again for all your support. I encourage everyone to take all of the steps to stay safe and healthy. Love.
The NBA suspended the remainder of the season later Wednesday, following Gobert’s diagnosis.
“The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of tonight’s schedule of games until further notice,” the league said in a statement. “The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.”
Gobert’s teammate Donovan Mitchell tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday.