Today Rudy Gobert became the kid in the classroom that was singled out by the teacher despite the entire class engaging in the same behavior. One day after Rudy Gobert became the first professional athlete to contract the disease he became vilified because of a joke of touching microphones as if that was HOW he contracted the virus or that was HOW he spread the virus if you are going to believe the infinite rounds of Facebook posts or tweets over the past day. Every news organization has shown the clip on countless loops, national sports writers from different sports have made him out to be an idiot, and everybody’s uncle or aunt who couldn’t give one flying **** about sports suddenly is an expert on Rudy Gobert’s mental capacity. In all honesty, last night all of us finally realized WAY TOO LATE that the Coronavirus pandemic was really big deal and Rudy Gobert provided us a way to take the culpability from our shoulders and to place them upon his broad shoulders.
Just take a look at these tweets from media from around the web just today. Everything from Kevin O’Connor from The Ringer calling Rudy Gobert a dope then promptly deleting the tweet to these gems.
Sure seems like Rudy Gobert and the Utah Jazz handled this whole thing like a bunch of reckless assholes.— Lindsey Adler (@lindseyadler) March 12, 2020
He did this when he knew he was sick? https://t.co/lwEvbKSJlI— David J. Chao - ProFootballDoc (@ProFootballDoc) March 12, 2020
Rudy Gobert did, quite literally, maybe the dumbest thing a professional athlete has ever done.— Joe Dolan (@FG_Dolan) March 12, 2020
If the media wasn’t enough, the Utah Jazz organization couldn’t keep tightlipped about a problem within their own four walls. If they couldn’t get a simple thing as Mike Conley being benched or starting right, who would have thought that Rudy Gobert testing positive wouldn’t leave the Jazz team fractured? First there was Ryan Miller of KSL making Mike Conley look like the golden child for washing his hands a lot as if Rudy Gobert was ignoring that direction and not taking it seriously?
On the other hand, Mike Conley washed his hands regularly and tried to only touch elbows with teammates. No, Gobert wasn't being malicious in the slightest — he didn't think he had it, obviously — but it shows how some took this seriously and others did not. https://t.co/8nAE1YthXd— Ryan Miller (@millerjryan) March 12, 2020
Then the Adrian Wojnarowski tweet that showed there was a leak in the Jazz organization and that they felt Rudy Gobert was “careless” touching other people’s belongings in the locker room (as if that is the reason they tested positive and not just being around the guy in a plane and playing on the same basketball court wasn’t the most likely way of contracting it).
Jazz star Donovan Mitchell has tested positive for the coronavirus, league sources tell ESPN. Jazz players privately say that Rudy Gobert had been careless in the locker room touching other players and their belongings. Now a Jazz teammate has tested positive.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 12, 2020
A player on your team contracts the virus and you decide it’s time to complain to your agent to Woj about this? Even worse, Adrian Wojnarowski doesn’t have the journalistic integrity to say, “We’re in a health crisis, this comes off as victim blaming. Who knows who contracted this virus first. I should be delicate with this.” No. He took this and threw it like a grenade while the nation is reeling with the news of WHO declaring Coronavirus a pandemic and the NBA canceling. He just did hit send. He normally runs pretty loose with HIPAA anyway, but maybe not this time? He handled a tweet about a worldwide pandemic affecting a person the same way he would handle a tweet about LeBron James sitting out for “Load Management.” ESPN should be ashamed and bring their guy in and take him off the road for a time.
As far as the Utah Jazz players, this is how you want to close ranks? This is how you take care of a coworker, a teammate, and your roster? This feels petty. It feels so small in the grander scheme of things. They can stew, but they failed—just like they did with the Mike Conley benching fiasco—to prevent airing their dirty laundry outside. They cried to press immediately when Mike Conley was benched and they went right back to that toxic well when a teammate contracted a pandemic disease. Big applause for everyone involved.
Donovan Mitchell’s instagram post announcing that he had coronavirus felt like it conspicuously omitted Rudy Gobert’s name. No support for the guy who took the blame of the NBA’s cancellation. No “hope he’s okay.” No “we’re with you big guy”. No “it could have been any of us.” None of it. Just a blanket I’m okay and take the pandemic seriously. It’s hollow.
The truth is we were all living Rudy Gobert’s attitude about this pandemic just 72 hours ago. We were cracking jokes, posting witty tweets, going to work like everything was normal, and most people felt that we were overreacting to this health crisis. Some still do. But once the NBA gets canceled. Once entertainment slams to a screeching halt, well, it must have been that dumb Frenchman that screwed it up by hitting 5 microphones? I don’t see Tom Hanks getting dragged out here because he’s quarantined in Australia for the virus. I don’t see people calling those affected or dead in other states as morons or dopes.
At some later date it will seem appropriate to talk about if this whole fiasco could rip the Jazz roster apart, but that really doesn’t matter when everything is shut down. What matters is how we react to this health crisis. EVEN more so, what is important is we keep our damn humanity when talking about people who are victims of the virus. The real truth of the last 24 hours is it’s just easier to blame Rudy Gobert than to look in the mirror and blame ourselves.
Coronavirus Symptoms, How it Spreads, Prevention
Below you’ll find the CDC’s information for identifying symptoms, how COVID-19 spreads, and, most importantly, PREVENTION. More information than found below can be found at:
Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.
The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
- Shortness of breath
⚠️ Call your doctor: If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider immediately.
How it is spread
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Can someone spread the virus without being sick?
- People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
- Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.