Footage of a Monday press conference showed Gobert, an All-Star player for the NBA’s Utah Jazz, touching journalists’ microphones and recorders in arguing that the public was overreacting to the illness threat.
On Wednesday, however, Gobert tested positive for coronavirus shortly before a game with the Oklahoma City Thunder was set to begin. The game was immediately postponed.
Assuring fans he was under “great care,” Gobert issued a lengthy apology on Instagram Thursday, noting he “had no idea” he was infected at the time of the press conference incident.
“I was careless and make no excuse,” Gobert wrote. “I hope my story serves as a warning and causes everyone to take this seriously. I will do whatever I can to support using my experience as way to educate others and prevent the spread of this virus.”
The NBA suspended the remainder of the season later Wednesday, following Gobert’s diagnosis.
“The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of tonight’s schedule of games until further notice,” the league said in a statement. “The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.”
Gobert’s teammate Donovan Mitchell tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday.