Gobert pledges $500,000 to help with relief, NBA shutdown

Rudy Gobert, of the Utah Jazz, poses in the press room with the defensive player of the year award at the NBA Awards on Monday, June 25, 2018, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

(AP) - Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz offered the first of what he said will be “many steps” he will take to help with the coronavirus pandemic, pledging to donate more than $500,000 to relief efforts.

Gobert, who was the first NBA player to test positive for COVID-19 — a diagnosis that prompted the NBA to suspend its season for at least a month — said he is giving $200,000 to part-time employees at the arena that plays host to Jazz games to help cover their lost wages.

Bulls, Blackhawks to pay day-of-game workers

The United Center ownership and the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks say they will pay day-of-game employees through the end of their scheduled seasons.

The NBA and NHL seasons have been suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic. Each team has seven home games left.

In a statement attributed to Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz and Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf, the teams say their employees “are family, and we will navigate this unprecedented situation together.”

AP Source: Pistons’ Christian Wood tests positive for virus

Christian Wood of the Detroit Pistons has tested positive for the coronavirus, a person with direct knowledge of the situation said Saturday night.

Wood is feeling fine, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither the Pistons nor Wood had confirmed his positive result.

Wood’s diagnosis was revealed one week after he played against the Utah Jazz — spending much of that night matched up with Rudy Gobert, who was the first NBA player known to test positive for the virus.

Utah’s Donovan Mitchell has also tested positive for the virus.

XFL player tests positive for coronavirus

The XFL says an unidentified player with the Seattle Dragons has tested positive for coronavirus.

The fledgling football league says the player reported his symptoms to team medical staff on Tuesday and has been in quarantine ever since. He was tested for COVID-19 and received the result Friday.

The league says the player participated in the Dragons’ March 7 game against the Roughnecks in Houston and a Feb. 29 game against the BattleHawks in St. Louis. He was asymptomatic at the time.

The league says it’s alerting players, staff, vendors and partners associated with the Dragons, Roughnecks and BattleHawks and is monitoring the situation closely.

Late Thursday, the XFL canceled the remainder of its season, which had five weeks left.

Baseball Hall of Fame closing

The Baseball Hall of Fame said it will close to the public beginning Sunday at 5 p.m.

The Cooperstown, New York, shrine will provide updated information regarding this closure on each subsequent Sunday.

Pro Football HOF to close temporarily

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is closing temporarily because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The museum in Canton, Ohio says it will be closed to the public from Monday through March 27. The Hall says it “will continue to closely monitor the situation and maintain ongoing communication with state and local health officials.”

Pac-12 cancels all spring sports, championships

The Pac-12 Conference has canceled all spring sports and championships following a meeting of conference executives and athletic directors.

The conference also announced that all organized team activities are not allowed until at least March 29, when that decision will be revisited.

The smaller Southland Conference also announced a similar move.

The moves follow Thursday’s decision by the NCAA to cancel the Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments as well as all remaining winter and spring championships.

Mexican soccer league to play without fans

The Mexican soccer league announced that the rest of its matches this weekend will be played with no fans, a day after starting the weekend with two games in which fans were in attendance.

While other leagues around the world suspended play, Liga MX insisted on going forward with its matches. Until now, the only change was banning pre-match handshakes due to the new coronavirus.

But Mexico’s first division reversed course and decided to play in empty stadiums after consulting with the government.

The headliner match of the weekend is a Mexico City derby at Estadio Azteca between league leader Cruz Azul and third-place Club America. Attendance was expected to be around 60,000.

Mexico played some matches in empty stadiums during the 2009 outbreak of the H1N1 flu.

Copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved.