Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert contributing $500,000 to employee relief fund and coronavirus services

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Gobert was diagnosed with Covid-19 on Wednesday

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) dribbles the ball as New York Knicks forward Bobby Portis (1) defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game in New York, Wednesday, March 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Sarah Stier)

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – Rudy Gobert is giving back.

The Utah Jazz announced today that Gobert, who was the first NBA player to test positive for the COVID-19 virus, 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. Emerging areas of pressing need include childcare assistance to health care workers as well as for caregivers to the elderly.

“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.”

Gobert was the first professional athlete to test positive for the virus. His teammate Donovan Mitchell was the second.

More than 800 part-time employees work events at Vivint Smart Home Arena in various areas such as food service, security, guest services, custodial and more. Four upcoming concerts have been postponed through the end of April, and the Jazz had 10 remaining home games on its schedule before the suspension of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NBA season was suspended for at least 30 days when Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell also tested positive for the virus.

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