A viral video shows NBA player Rudy Gobert jokingly touching reporters' microphones and phones just days before he tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Following his diagnosis, the "until further notice."
The footage by CBS affiliate KUTV shows the Utah Jazz star making a joke out of the coronavirus scare by playfully putting his hands all over the audio equipment during a media availability on Monday.
On Wednesday, he became the first NBA player to test positive for COVID-19, ESPN and The Associated Press reported. The test result came out shortly before the cancellation of Wednesday night's game between the Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Gobert broke his silence about the incident and his condition Thursday afternoon. "I have gone through so many emotions since learning of my diagnosis…mostly fear, anxiety, and embarrassment," he wrote on Instagram.
"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. hope my story serves as a warning and causes everyone to take this seriously."
He said he is getting "great care" and "will fully recover."
Some sports journalists who cover the team were impacted by the microphone stunt. Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune, Tony Jones of The Athletic and Sarah Todd of the Deseret News had to be tested for coronavirus, according to Larsen.
Less than a day later, teammate and Jazz star Donovan Mitchell tested positive for the virus, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported. "Jazz players privately say that Rudy Gobert had been careless in the locker room touching other players and their belongings," Wojnarowski tweeted.
The Jazz issued an updated statement Thursday, saying: "We are working closely with the CDC, Oklahoma and Utah state officials, and the NBA to monitor their health and determine the best path moving forward."
The NBA said teams that played Utah in the last 10 days should self-quarantine. The Jazz recently came back from a four-game road trip where they played the New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons and Cleveland Cavaliers at their home arenas — and Gobert played in them all. The Jazz also played the Toronto Raptors at home on Monday. The Raptors tested their players for coronavirus and await the results, according to the team.
Donovan Mitchell spoke out about his diagnosis on Instagram and thanked everyone for their support. "I am going to keep following the advice of our medical staff and hope that we can all come together and be there for each other and our neighbors who need our help," he said.