It has been a month since the sports world came to a collective halt after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Gobert has become a meme for his lack of seriousness regarding a once-in-a-century plague and the person who finds it the least funny is his teammate Donovan Mitchell. Mitchell tested positive shortly after Gobert did.
It has been roughly a month since this all went down, but according to The Athletic, Mitchell is still heated after being exposed to COVID-19 by Reckless Rudy.
As is common with our world, sports are showing us a dilemma facing our society at large. Should Donovan Mitchell forgive Rudy Gobert? Should the people of Florida forgive the Spring Breakers who traveled from colleges across the country to party? Should we forgive those who act recklessly during times of great national panic? Is there a timeline where forgiveness exists, but dwindles as the consequences become more dire? Would the earlier shame and ridicule have stopped the virus from spreading so quickly?
The problem facing our planet now, is one almost all of us have never lived through. The last global pandemic that circled the globe, the Spanish Flu of 1918, happened so many generations ago that those who lived through it are no longer with us, and the ones who are were likely to young to adequately remember it.
These are fundamental ethical questions that we have never had to wrangle with at this scale.
As someone with a relentless desire to be liked and a quick memory, I move on pretty quickly, and am likely to forgive those who have harmed me. However, I have never been intentionally exposed to a generational plague because a co-worker decided to mock the virus and minimize the risk of infection to themselves and countless others.
I render no judgment on Mitchell and whether or not he chooses to hold a grudge and whether or not this grudge ends the Mitchell-Gobert Era in Utah. I don’t even think this would be the most ridiculous thing that has broken up All-Star Teammates. Is this whole ordeal really more ridiculous than Jimmy Butler showing up late to Timberwolves practice last year with four G-Leaguers and trash talking Karl Anthony-Towns and Andrew Wiggins?
Mitchell’s choice is one that mirrors the very one we see unfolding in front of us across the country. One that shines brighter than a weekend of Spring Breakers. Those nameless college students all returned home. We see their names on one news chyron and they slip into the darkness.
If the NBA season returns, we will see how the two conduct themselves on the court and through the media. Sometimes, just getting back to work and not stewing on something negative can be all the relief someone needs. Unfortunately, these two may never share a locker room together again.