The basketball player who first tested positive for the coronavirus, leading to the NBA's drastic decision to suspend its season indefinitely, has apologised for his actions prior to finding out he had Covid-19.
Utah Jazz centre Rudy Gobert tested positive for the virus yesterday, leading to the immediate postponement of his team's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder and later the suspension of the NBA as a whole.
Shortly after, footage of Gobert making light of the coronavirus outbreak went viral online with the All Star making sure to touch every microphone and recorder in front of him after a media session two days before his positive test came through.
ESPN reports Gobert's teammates said he was "careless" in the locker room prior to the test as well, touching both players and their belongings. A teammate, fellow All Star Donovan Mitchell, has since tested positive for Covid-19 as well.
Gobert took to social media this morning to make his first comments since news broke of his positive test, thanking fans for their messages of support before apologising for how he has acted towards the outbreak.
"I have gone through so many emotions since learning of my diagnosis... mostly feat, anxiety and embarrassment," Gobert said.
"The first and most important thing is I would like to publicly apologise to the people that I may have endangered. At the time, I had no idea I was even infected. I was careless and I make no excuse."
Gobert hoped to be made an example of for the remainder of the outbreak.
"I hope my story serves as a warning and causes everyone to take this seriously. I will whatever I can to support using my experience as a way to educate others and prevent the spread of this virus."
The NBA has not given a date for when it would look at returning but it's understood team owners and NBA officials are suggesting the league review the situation in a month.
To date, over 4000 people have died from the coronavirus and an estimated 125,000 cases have been reported to the World Health Organisation from 118 countries.