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NBA will not fine Rudy Gobert for his actions prior to positive COVID-19 test

Rudy Gobert was careless, and even reckless, jokingly not taking the coronavirus pandemic seriously on a personal level before testing positive and becoming the NBA’s patient zero. He owned that mistake in his statement on Instagram and apologized for it.

Carlessness, however, is not something the league should punish people for — and it will not in this case. The NBA will not fine or suspend Gobert for his actions, something first reported by Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

It was the positive test for Gobert that changed the NBA’s course of action on this disease — and with it, changed the direction of other sports leagues and the perception of how this should be handled. Here was an elite athlete — the NBA’s two-time Defensive Player of the Year and an All-Star — testing positive in the middle of a season, and if he could come down with the disease it seemed to hit home for a lot of people that anyone can get it.

The NBA’s actions were on the front end of a wave of moves around the nation to postpone public gatherings from concerts and political rallies down to middle school soccer games.

Gobert was wrong and careless, but that’s different from a punishable offense, and in the end his actions may have helped the shift in this nation to take the pandemic more seriously.