Since testing positive with the COVID-19 novel coronavirus on Wednesday, the former Defensive Player of the Year unintentionally did what he normally does in the paint, but on a much grander scale, he shut everything down. This time he did it on a national level. Partly due to his disregard and carelessness of the health crisis and the ignorance and naivety of many in our corporate, local, state, and federal employees, Rudy Gobert became the lightning rod of a health crisis that had become very real. His positive test was a wake up call. Now with that newfound visibility and culpability, Rudy Gobert is using it to make a difference. This afternoon he announced his intention to donate half a million dollars for financial relief for arena workers in Utah, families in Oklahoma City affected by the COVID-19 virus, and a generous donation to French Healthcare system for childcare assistance to those serving in the system.
The $500,000 donation will be a huge help to those workers. Prior to this announcement we had not received any word if Utah had committed to their arena workers. However, in the press release by the Utah Jazz, it was mentioned that Gobert’s donation would be used “in conjunction with employee assistance efforts already being undertaken by Larry H. Miller Sports & Entertainment.”
Rudy Gobert said in the announcement:
“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.”
“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.”
According to the press release, 800 people work part-time in the various positions around the arena. With the rest of the season suspended at this time and four future events at Vivint postponed, this is obviously a hit in the pocketbook at a terrible time. This donation by Rudy Gobert and the assistance provided by the Larry H. Miller Sports & Entertainment group is going to be needed in its entirety if this health crisis goes further than 30 days.
This donation comes two days after Rudy Gobert issued an apology that he posted on social media.