NBA’s Rudy Gobert mocked coronavirus measures by touching reporter’s microphones before sources identified him as the first NBA player to have tested positive for the virus.
The Utah Jazz player, who is reported to have tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday, was seen on video ridiculing social distancing measures taken to protect infection during an interview.
During the appearance on Monday, prior to the Covid-19 positive result within the team, Mr Gobert was recorded mockingly running his hands over journalist’s equipment.
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Reports show media have been banned from interviewing players in lockers room due to fears of the virus and have been ordered to ask questions from a distance at a table.
Mr Gobert is seen to be seemingly taunting the restrictions by putting his hands on the equipment on the table as he got up to leave.
Not long after the team was subjected to Covid-19 testing and sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that Mr Gobert was the first NBA player to have tested positive for the virus.
KUTV’s Heidi Hatch said in a tweet regarding the incident that Mr Gobert was “was trying to be funny,” but “now that he’s tested positive for #Covid19 #Coronavirus not as much.”
The league has been forced to shut down for the foreseeable future amidst the positive result.
Since the incident, Mr Gobert’s Utah teammate, Donovan Mitchell, has also purportedly tested positive for the virus, the second player in the team to do so, according to ESPN.
The Jazz have not confirmed that Mr Gobert and Mr Mitchell are the two positive tests.
“As a follow-up to yesterday’s positive Covid19 test, Oklahoma health officials tested all members of the Utah Jazz travelling party, confirming one additional positive outcome for a Jazz player,” the Jazz said in a statement Thursday.
The NBA shutdown could cost the teams well into the hundreds of millions of dollars depending on how long players are put out of action.
The virus, which has been labelled a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, has spread to over 120,000 people worldwide.
President Donald Trump announced increased travel restrictions in response to the virus, suspending all travel from 26 European countries into the US in an attempt to prevent the increasing spread of the virus.
Additional reporting by The Associated Press
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