The NBA is still closely monitoring next steps following its sudden suspension of play due to the coronavirus.
This suspension was announced immediately after Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell tested positive for the virus. The two will be quarantined and the NBA will remain suspended for at least 30 days at which point the situation will be reassessed.
Luckily, 58 other Jazz players, coaches, and team personnel received a negative test result. However, commissioner Adam Silver and the league simply had no other option than to suspend the 2019-20 NBA season. The MLB, NHL, and MLS have all followed suit since as well as the NCAA canceling March Madness and all remaining tournaments.
After the positive tests, both Gobert and Mitchell took to Instagram to speak on the issue.
Gobert, who was the first positive test in the NBA, underwent serious scrutiny for his lackadaisical attitude surrounding the coronavirus and apologized for it in his statement, via Instagram:
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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.
Mitchell, who was the only other Jazz player to test positive, also penned a statement urging people to remain educated and vigilant about the matter, via Instagram:
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Thanks to everyone who has been reaching out since hearing the news about my positive test. We are all learning more about the seriousness of this situation and hopefully people can continue to educate themselves and realize that they need to behave responsibly both for their own health and for the well being of those around them. I appreciate the authorities in Oklahoma who were helpful with the testing process and everyone from the @utahjazz who have been so supportive. 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❤️🕷
While neither Gobert nor Mitchell are to blame, this situation does teach an important lesson about health and safety. As the NBA, NHL, MLB, MLS, and NCAA all navigate this together, it’s important that everyone does what they can to stay in good health.
It seems as though there will be significant changes to daily life for the foreseeable future and a part of that will be a temporary world without sports.