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Evan Fournier takes dig at Donald Trump while battling Rudy Gobert’s European stigma amid coronavirus crisis

Coronavirus, Evan Fournier, Rudy Gobert, Donald Trump

Evan Fournier stood up for French compatriot Rudy Gobert amid the stigma that has surrounded him since becoming the first NBA player to test positive for the novel coronavirus.

The Orlando Magic guard even took a side dig at President Donald Trump, noting 45 is not helping matters with his inflammatory rhetoric:

“It’s typically the thing where we’re going to blame the stranger,” said Fournier, according to Eurohoops.net’s Stefan Djordjevic. “He’s European so he brought the virus back? When we don’t know. Who says it was not Donovan Mitchell who infected him?

“The environment is unhealthy, not helped by what Donald Trump says. The joke with the microphones was a joke where no one had realized the magnitude of the thing. It’s easy to point the finger a posteriori. I could have made the same joke.”

Gobert surely took a lot of flak for touching reporters’ microphones in jest only two days before testing positive for the coronavirus. But that soon became a blame game after Jazz teammate Donovan Mitchell tested positive on Mar. 12.

Trump hasn’t helped matters by calling it a “Chinese Virus,” a term that has quickly taken a xenophobic resentment as the virus being “imported” from outside the United States. While the virus has been known to show its first cases in Wuhan, China, many people, including Jeremy Lin, have criticized Trump for pushing that racist terminology rather than calling it by the scientific name.

Gobert was wrong to take the virus lightly and joke around like he did, potentially endangering reporters and arena workers with his unfortunate negligence. It has already resulted in a rift with Mitchell, one the Jazz hope can get resolved as time goes on and the hard feelings dissipate. Yet Gobert still has his fellow Frenchman in Fournier in his corner throughout this trying time.