SALT LAKE CITY — Rudy Gobert is following suit with other NBA stars by pledging money to arena employees and relief efforts amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In a press release issued Saturday, the Utah Jazz detailed Gobert’s $500,000 donation, $200,000 of which will go to aid the more than 800 part-time employees who work at Vivint Arena and are not able to work while events are cancelled or postponed.
Another $100,000 will be used to assist families in Utah, and another $100,000 will go to families in Oklahoma City, where Gobert tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday. Gobert’s positive test led the NBA to immediately suspend games indefinitely, and other major sports leagues soon followed suit.
Finally, Gobert is also pledging 100,000 euros to help in relief efforts in his native country of France.
“I am humbled by the tireless efforts and care of people around the globe for those affected by COVID-19, especially my own communities of Utah and France,” Gobert said in a statement. “I know there are countless ways that people have been impacted. These donations are a small token that reflect my appreciation and support for all those impacted and are the first of many steps I will take to try and make a positive difference.”
Gobert’s positive test results came in just moments before tip-off between the Thunder and Jazz. His teammate Donovan Mitchell also tested positive for COVID-19 when the rest of the team was tested later Wednesday night. Gobert and Mitchell are the only NBA players who have publicly tested positive for COVID-19.
Gobert’s donation comes on the heels of other NBA stars promising to give help for arena employees. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Love, Blake Griffin and Zion Williamson have all made contributions to help alleviate financial burden caused by the pandemic. Other players such as Stephen Curry have worked with community organizers to help families and children affected by school and work closures.