In the aftermath of the NBA suspending it’s 2019-20 season, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert is pledging a $500,000 donation to various arena workers and “COVID-related social services” in Utah, Oklahoma and his home country of France. The Jazz announced Gobert’s donation would be split between financial assistance to Utah arena employees and families affected by the coronavirus in Oklahoma and Utah.
The Utah Jazz announced today that Rudy Gobert is donating more than $500,000 to support both the employee relief fund at Vivint Smart Home Arena and COVID-related social services relief in Utah, Oklahoma City and within the French health care system.
The pledged donation will provide $200,000 in aid to part-time employees at the home arena of the Utah Jazz who are not able to work due to the postponement of NBA games and other entertainment events, in conjunction with employee assistance efforts already being undertaken by Larry H. Miller Sports & Entertainment.
Additionally, Gobert will contribute $100,000 each to assist families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in Utah and Oklahoma City plus 100,000 euros for his native country of France.
Rudy Gobert will now join a growing group of NBA players and executives looking to assist arena workers who suddenly find themselves out of a job. Along with Gobert, Zion Williamson, Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban have all pledged donations to arena workers.
“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, in addition to my appreciation for the state of Oklahoma and my care there, and of course, my Utah Jazz family,” 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, while continuing to learn more about COVID-19 and educate others. Much gratitude, RG.”
Of course, Gobert was the first NBA player to test positive for the coronavirus followed by teammate Donovan Mitchell. Tensions reportedly continue to run high across the Jazz organization but perhaps Gobert’s generous donation towards the cause helps repair some fractured relationships. The NBA will remain suspended for at least the next four weeks.