Everybody hates Rudy Gobert.
On the court, he’s established himself as a defensive stalwart who prowls the paint and protects the rim with relative ease. But off the court, that same discipline is discarded in favor of a more playful nature, which leads to inexcusable behavior like this:
On Wednesday, the two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year was diagnosed with the coronavirus, bringing the entire league to a standstill with the announcement that the duration of the NBA season will be suspended indefinitely.
But Gobert’s reckless behavior hasn’t just endangered microphones. Other teams and staff who have come into contact with him have been instructed to self-quarantine, and his teammate, fellow NBA-All Star Donovan Mitchell, has also tested positive for the virus.
“Thanks to everyone who has been reaching out since hearing the news about my positive test,” Mitchell posted on Instagram. “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.”
As a result, Gobert’s teammates are understandably pissed, with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reporting that the relationship between Gobert and the rest of the Jazz is frayed.
“The Jazz are fortunate that they don’t have to get back together and start playing games again right now,” Woj said on ESPN’s Sportscenter. “There is a lot of work to do to repair relationships [...] there’s a lot of frustration with Gobert.”
Because yes, everybody hates Rudy—NBA fans, his teammates, other players, and on some level, maybe even the league itself.
Which is why the 27-year-old has taken it upon himself to offer a mea culpa to, well, everybody.
“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,” he posted on Instagram on Thursday. “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.”
He continued, “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.”
Hopefully, this serves as a teachable moment for each of us as the coronavirus is showing no signs of slowing down.