James Dolan, the owner of the New York Knicks and the New York Rangers, recently tested positive for COVID-19. His NBA team revealed the update in a statement and confirmed that he is in self-isolation. He is the first U.S. major pro sports owner that has tested positive for the virus and did so despite showing "little to no" symptoms.
"The Madison Square Garden Company Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jim Dolan has tested positive for coronavirus," the Knicks said in a statement. "He has been in self-isolation and is experiencing little to no symptoms. He continues to oversee business operations." Dolan oversees daily operations for the Knicks, the Rangers, and the New York Liberty.
According to government officials, New York has become the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States. More than 52,000 cases are confirmed in New York state, and about 7,300 people were in New York hospitals Saturday. This included roughly 1,800 in intensive care.
"People really find this funny and I don't see how #jamesdolan being sick a f—ing joke? Seriously what did this man do to you in your own personally life that hurt you so much that you'd crack jokes on him being sick? #lordforgivethemplease #COVID19," one Twitter user wrote after hearing the news.
Dolan is a disliked figure by many Knicks fans, and they were using this news to make jokes at his expense. Many responses featured animated GIFs of people dancing in the streets while others said that this was the only "positive" thing associated with Dolan's name.
Many others on social media simply had questions about the testing process. Dolan displayed "little to no" symptoms and still received a test. Some users on social media wanted to know how this was possible. Was the Knicks owner receiving preferential treatment based on his wealth?
The NBA suspended all operations on March 11 after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive. His teammate Donovan Mitchell also had a confirmed case shortly after. Other players that have been affected in recent weeks include Christian Wood of the Detroit Pistons, Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets, and Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics. Three other unnamed members of the Nets and two from the Los Angeles Lakers also tested positive.
The NBA revealed on Friday that both Gobert and Mitchell were both cleared of the coronavirus. They had undergone another test and had reportedly fully recovered. They were still practicing social distancing while following the recommended guidelines.
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