Rudy Gobert hadn’t been feeling well, and perhaps he felt, as a world class athlete in the prime of his career and his life, that he could still mock something as nebulous as a virus.
After the NBA had taken steps to restrict the media from coming into teams’ locker rooms due to the spread of the coronavirus, Gobert on Monday sat at the table that had been set up to conduct player interviews in a separate room and proceeded to get up, stop, and wipe his hands on each of the media microphones that had been set up to record his words of wisdom before smiling and jogging out of the room.
It was a childish act and highly regrettable under the best of circumstances. Now however, Rudy Gobert’s antics may become regrettably iconic as we all sail into uncharted waters concerning this historic coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Less than 48 hours after Gobert’s juvenile antics, it was announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19, and that the NBA was going to be suspending their regular season, indefinitely.
An NBA spokesman released a statement after the suspension that read: “The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.”
It was expected that many athletic associations, from professional to amateur, were going to begin taking steps to limit travel and access to sporting events going forward, but the NBA’s decision to stop play altogether leapfrogged most actions being considered and in some instances instituted to slow the spread of the virus.
Earlier in the day Washington Governor Jay Inslee had banned large gatherings through the end of the month in three counties in the state that was to this point hardest hit by the pandemic. That action included King County, where Major League Baseball’s Seattle Mariners play their home games.
Later, word began to trickle out that MLB was considering still playing their full schedule but not in front of fans and with the location of their games still very much up for consideration.
Minnesota Twins President Dave St. Peter was quoted in the Minneapolis Star Tribune saying, “We’re in daily communication with Major League Baseball and over the course of this week, we’ve also been in communication with both the Oakland Athletics and the Seattle Mariners regarding our first road trip…Multiple scenarios are being considered about where games will be played, and no decisions have been made. The Twins will continue to work closely with Major League Baseball and the Mariners to finalize those plans.”
The same day, NCAA President Mark Emmert announced that all upcoming championships would be played but without fans. How long will that last?
On Thursday, Major league Soccer weighed in saying that match games would be suspended for 30 days.
We have never seen anything quite like this in modern times. Is it disappointing? For sure. Is it scary? Perhaps. But, what’s important to retain is that we’re dealing with a relative unknown which means best practices need to be developed.
Let’s do more than just hope everything resumes “as normal” in 30 days. Wash your hands, cover your mouth if you cough or sneeze, and practice restraint and common sense when it comes to you own well being. What’s good for you is what’s good for everybody else, as we’re all in this together, like it or not.