There have been plenty of moments during my lifetime that have made me fall in love with the sports world. From the final play of winning a championship to the heartfelt moments seen at the smallest venues around the world, sports provide experiences to athletes and spectators that will last a lifetime.
Sunday was supposed to be filled with brackets and controversy but instead, the day started the official era of no sports. From the professional level down to the high school level, any sports I could find on a TV or right down the street was put on a hiatus.
We have spent so much time talking about those moments we will remember forever as why sports are more than just a game. Sports mean so much to so many people and they provide comfort, resources, camaraderie and so much more to people around the world.
And while we all knew it deep down, this past week has shown us why some things are so much bigger than sports.
Most people have already heard the story about Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz but if you have not, he may be the one to thank for a society shutdown. And I mean that sincerely.
Gobert was extremely cavalier about the new coronavirus during an interview with several media members before leaving the room. On his way out, he made a point to touch every microphone on the table before heading back to practice.
Even if you have not heard this story, I am sure you can tell where it is headed. Gobert eventually tested positive for COVID-19 and put the NBA into an unprecedented situation as the league shut down on the same night he got results.
This is not to throw blame on Gobert because I am sure I have done enough of that on Twitter but it is to make sure we can learn from his faults. It may not be as big of an issue as it was two weeks but there are still plenty of people who are taking the same mindset Gobert has and that is dangerous.
Two other NBA players with close ties to Gobert tested positive for the virus and a child who got an autograph from him did as well. We clearly don’t know exactly where it originated but it’s obvious enough to know how dangerous any close contact is right now.
Gobert has turned his mindset since testing positive and has even donated $500,000 to help the workers inside the Jazz arena who have lost their jobs. But so much of that could have been avoided if he took it seriously from the beginning and there’s a clear lesson to learn for everyone.
However, for the crowd of people who believes everything happens for a reason, this is a good story to tell. Due to Gobert’s positive test, the NBA suspended its season and that quickly put pressure on the other sports leagues to do the same.
One after the other starting falling and it was clear that this decision should have been made a long time ago. Even when this was a small issue in this country, there was enough noise and evidence from around the world that massive gatherings with tens of thousands of people probably was not a good idea.
But the decisions finally came down and other people learned to take the next step. Once the sports world came to a screeching stop, the rest of the world had to pay attention.
I may not go as far as to say Gobert was an “Idiot Hero” like I heard on The Dan Le Batard Show on Monday but if we can learn from his careless actions, it may be the best term for him.
We may not have any sports to watch right now but in the meantime, we can use the lessons we have already learned. Take this seriously and be smart with your actions.