Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon has tested positive for the coronavirus. Like the rest of the league, the Pacers began conducting coronavirus testing of its players on Tuesday, as the NBA prepares to travel to Orlando to resume the 2019-20 season.
In a statement released by the Pacers, Brogdon said he was feeling “well,” but did not address if he has any symptoms associated with the virus.
“I recently tested positive for the COVID virus and am currently in quarantine,” Brogdon said. “I’m doing well, feeling well and progressing well. I plan to join my teammates in Orlando for the resumption of the NBA season and playoffs.”
From what Brogdon said, it doesn’t appear that this will derail his plans of rejoining the Pacers when they head to Orlando in a couple of weeks to finish the rest of the season. Before the league went into hiatus, Brogdon was dealing with a hip muscle injury that kept him out of the Pacers’ final three games in March. However, with nearly five months off, he’s expected to be fully healthy when the league tips off on July 30.
On top of recovering from his injury, Brogdon used his time during the hiatus to be a vocal leader in fighting against police brutality and racism. He’s given speeches at protests that were sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police. In response to the social and civil unrest happening around the country, there’s been a contingent of NBA and WNBA players who have voiced their concerns about playing, as they feel it would take attention away from the protests happening across the country. Brogdon, however, feels that players can use it as an even bigger platform. During an appearance on JJ Redick’s podcast, he explained why going to Disney World to finish out the season could be used to amplify social justice issues.
“Everybody is going to be watching us,” Brogdon said. “We have all the cameras, and there are no other sports on. Everybody wants us to play right now, and that means everybody’s going to be watching. There’s only 22 teams that are going to be there. And, as you go, if your team advances to the second or third round of the playoffs, the attention on you and your platform…it actually grows the (longer) you stay in Orlando. So that’s definitely a perspective I want guys to think about and understand before they make a decision.”
There have already been several players who have opted out of the NBA’s restart plan for various reasons, however, Brogdon believes that the global platform the league offers could bring about some change if used correctly. As the vice president of the National Basketball Players Association, Brogdon will surely be part of the conversations had about how the league can use its brand to not only amplify racial injustice in the United States but put into action changes that can be made.