NBA players’ union executive Michele Roberts said she did not think charges that NBA players were getting special treatment to get coronavirus tests were fair.
Politicians from Mayor Bill de Blasio to President Donald Trump have weighed in on the Nets getting mass testing for the virus, as there has been a shortage of test kits nationwide.
Roberts told ESPN she understood the root of their criticisms, but that that the government, not the players, should be at fault.
“The problem that more of us can’t get the tests — and I’m not apologetic about saying it — in my view, that rests at the foot of the federal government. They were responsible for making sure we were protected in that regard, and I think they failed,” Roberts said. “We shouldn’t be fighting about this now … but once this is done and we get through it, and we will, let’s figure out who screwed up and fix that.”
The Nets paid for players and staff to get tested for the coronavirus through a private company (BSE Global), and did not use any Centers for Disease Control and Prevention resources.
Kevin Durant and three unidentified Nets players tested positive for the virus.
On Tuesday, Roberts expressed concern that more players eventually could test positive for the coronavirus, but held out hope that the NBA eventually could resume its season after suspending it last week. She said the league was in the right to suspend the season and not allow any players who could have been infected spread it to those in arenas or in other public places.
Roberts has told players to not worry about feeling any embarrassment if they were to get a positive test.
Durant on Tuesday told The Athletic that he tested positive for the virus and was feeling fine. Jazz star Donovan Mitchell, who also tested positive, released a video Saturday saying he felt fine and was keeping busy playing video games while in isolation.
Seven NBA players in total have tested positive for the virus.
“There’s nothing embarrassing about it,” Roberts said. “This is not something that suggests you’ve done anything wrong. If you have it, now you know you need to be more careful in terms of your interactions.”