Coronavirus in sports: Yankees CL Chapman tests positive for COVID-19

Jul 11, 2020, 12:00 PM | Updated: 12:05 pm

New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman, left, talks to catcher Austin Romine during the ni...

New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman, left, talks to catcher Austin Romine during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks Wednesday, July 31, 2019, in New York. The Yankees won 7-5. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

The postponement of sporting events was meant to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but COVID-19 has nonetheless reached players, coaches and staff of various teams.

Utah Jazz star Rudy Gobert testing positive for coronavirus in March was only the first shoe to drop, and more positive tests have been reported since then.

Here’s a list of notable people in the sports world who have tested positive for the virus. It is by no means a comprehension list, but this story will be updated as significant news of positive tests comes in.

New York Yankees — Closer Aroldis Chapman

New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman was diagnosed with the coronavirus, according to the USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.

Chapman struck out 85 batters in 57 innings last season while recording 37 saves.

The Yankees are expected to open the season July 23 against the Washington Nationals.

Kansas City Royals — Manager, player test positive

Mike Matheny became the first manager to say he was diagnosed with the coronavirus, according to the Los Angeles Times’ Bill Shaikin.

Matheny said in a conference call Saturday that he had contracted COVID-19 “about a month ago,” according to He was symptomatic and quarantined with his wife, who tested negative.

Additionally, according to the MLB site, Royals catcher Salvador Perez said that he too tested positive. He is currently asymptomatic and expects to be tested again next week. Once he’s cleared, he can join the team.

MLB — Two Yankees players

New York Yankees second baseman DJ LeMahieu and pitcher Luis Cessa tested positive for the coronavirus, according to ESPN’s Marly Rivera.

LeMahieu, the former Colorado Rockies All-Star infielder, won the Silver Slugger Award last season after hitting .327 with 26 home runs and 102 RBIs.

Cessa is a 28-year-old who spent the entirety of last season in the majors for the first time in his career.

Los Angeles Clippers — Guard Landry Shamet

Los Angeles Clippers shooting guard Landry Shamet tested positive for the coronavirus, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported.

Shamet is unlikely to travel to Orlando this weekend, where the team will be going to begin preparation for the resumption of the season.

The guard has started 27 of 47 games this season and is averaging 9.7 points on 39.2% 3-point shooting.

MLB — Four Atlanta Braves players

Four Atlanta Braves players tested positive for the coronavirus, according to reporter Mark Bowman.

First baseman Freddie Freeman, shortstop Pete Kozma and pitchers Will Smith and Touki Toussaint tested positive, Braves manager Brian Snitker said.

Freeman, a four-time All-Star, has symptoms and a fever, according to 680 The Fan.

Toussaint is a former Diamondbacks prospect. Drafted by Arizona in the first round of 2014, he was traded along with Bronson Arroyo to Atlanta for Philip Gosselin in 2015.

NASCAR — Jimmie Johnson

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson has tested positive for the coronavirus and will miss this weekend’s race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 44-year-old Johnson is the first driver in any NASCAR series to test positive and the news Friday evening cast a shadow over the historic NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader races coming up Saturday and Sunday. There was no indication any races would be affected.

Hendrick Motorsports said Johnson will not return until he is cleared by a physician. He was tested earlier Friday after his wife, Chani, tested positive after experiencing allergy-like symptoms.

Johnson is asymptomatic.

MLB — 38 people throughout the league

In the first round of MLB test results, 31 players and seven staff members around the league tested positive for the coronavirus.

There was a 1.2% positive rate out of 3,185 total tests, the league announced Friday.

The Arizona Diamondbacks, with three players who tested positive on the 40-man roster, are one of 19 teams with a person who received a positive test.

“It’ll be encouraging if we can keep that to that level. It’s going to be on all of us to do our best to do that. That means, just because we get through the quarantine, just because we pass at this point, for me, multiple tests, doesn’t mean that behaviors can go back to normal,” Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen said in a conference call Friday.

Brooklyn Nets — Spencer Dinwiddie and DeAndre Jordan

NEW YORK (AP) — Spencer Dinwiddie and DeAndre Jordan said Monday they have tested positive for the coronavirus, potentially leaving the Brooklyn Nets without two starters when the NBA season resumes.

Jordan said he won’t be in Florida with the Nets when they return from the suspension of the 2019-20 season, while Dinwiddie told The Athletic that he was experiencing symptoms and it was unclear if he would be at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports complex.

At least six players on the Nets have tested positive for the virus. The other four were back in March, when Kevin Durant said he was one of them.

Both players said they tested positive after returning to New York to rejoin the team. Some players left the city, which was a hot spot at the time, after the NBA halted play.

Dinwiddie said he tested negative for the virus multiple times after returning to Brooklyn and took part in a couple practices. But he has since tested positive and said he has a fever and chest soreness.

His absence would be a significant blow to the Nets, given he has played so well this season with Kyrie Irving out of the lineup because of injuries. He is averaging 20.6 points.

NBA — Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon, Kings guard Buddy Hield, Kings forward Jabari Parker, Kings center Alex Len

Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon and Sacramento Kings forward Jabari Parker announced through their respective teams Wednesday they have contracted the coronavirus.

“I recently tested positive for the COVID virus and am currently in quarantine,” Brogdon said in his statement. “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.”

Kings guard Buddy Hield has also reportedly tested positive, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Sam Amick.

Kings center and former Sun Alex Len announced on his Instagram he also tested positive.

The news comes following the league beginning mandatory COVID-19 tests for all 22 teams on Tuesday.

Colorado Rockies — Three players, including OF Charlie Blackmon

All-Star outfielder Charlie Blackmon of the Colorado Rockies has become the first Major League Baseball player known to have tested positive for the coronavirus.

A person familiar with Blackmon’s situation confirmed the test result to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because there was no official announcement.

The Denver Post first reported Blackmon’s condition, saying Tuesday that three Rockies players had tested positive.

Nuggets C Nikola Jokic

All-Star forward Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets has tested positive for the coronavirus and is quarantining in his native Serbia, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

Jokic is expected to return to Denver long before the team leaves for the Disney complex for the restart of the NBA season next month, said the person who spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday on condition of anonymity because neither the player nor the team acknowledged the positive test publicly.

ESPN and The Denver Post previously reported Jokic’s positive test, which came on the same day that another top Serbian athlete — Novak Djokovic, the world’s top-ranked men’s tennis player — revealed that he and his wife had tested positive for the virus.

Djokovic and Jokic were together at an event earlier this month, though it cannot be concluded it played in a role in the positive test of either athlete.

No. 1 tennis player Novak Djokovic

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Top-ranked tennis player Novak Djokovic announced Tuesday he and his wife have COVID-19 after he played in a series of exhibition matches he organized in Serbia and Croatia with zero social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Raising questions about the full-fledged return of tennis, including the U.S. Open, planned for August, Djokovic — who stands third in the history of men’s tennis with 17 Grand Slam titles — is the fourth player to test positive for the illness after participating in the matches held in Belgrade and Zadar, Croatia.

The others were three-time Grand Slam semifinalist Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had at least two players test positive for coronavirus, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Earlier this week, the team had one assistant coach test positive with two other assistant coaches in quarantine.


In a released statement, the NHL announced 11 players who entered team facilities for voluntary training have tested positive for coronavirus. An excess of 200 players have undergone testing, the NHL said in the release. The league added it will not release the identity of the players or teams involved in the positive test results.

San Francisco Giants

The San Francisco Giants’ facility in Scottsdale has been shut down after one person who had been to the site and one family member exhibited symptoms Thursday.

Houston Astros

Houston Astros GM James Click said one player has tested positive for COVID-19, per’s Brian McTaggart.

“The silver lining is we followed procedure and there were no other positive tests,” Click said.

Toronto Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays shuttered their site in Dunedin, Florida — about five miles from the Philadelphia Phillies’ camp in Clearwater — after a player showed symptoms consistent with the virus.

Clemson Tigers

Clemson announced Friday that the school had 28 positive coronavirus cases, most of whom are football players, among its student athletes and athletic staff, according to Yahoo’s Pete Thamel. That was out of 315 tests conducted.

“The school said that most of the total cases have been asymptomatic and there’s been no hospitalization,” Thamel reported.

Philadelphia Phillies — Eight people

Five players and three staff members of the Philadelphia Phillies tested positive for coronavirus, according to NBCSN Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury. According to Salisbury, “a significant number of team personnel” are awaiting test results, which means the number of positive cases could be even greater than known at time of writing.

The people infected had been at the Phillies’ facility in Clearwater, Fla.

The team said its facilities in Clearwater have been shut down.

Buccaneers assistant coach

One Tampa Bay Buccaneers assistant coach tested positive for COVID-19, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported. That coach is asymptomatic. Two other assistant coaches have been quarantined.

Broncos S Kareem Jackson

Denver Broncos safety Kareem Jackson tested positive for COVID-19, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Jackson has cold-like symptoms but is expected to recover, Schefter said.

MLB players, staff

Several MLB players and staff have tested positive for coronavirus, per a letter obtained by the Associated Press.

The proliferation of COVID-19 outbreaks around the country over the last week, and the fact that we already know of several 40-man roster players and staff who have tested positive, has increased the risks associated with commencing spring training in the next few weeks.

Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott

Elliott is among “several” reported Texans and Cowboys to test positive for coronavirus, as reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Georgetown head coach and Hall of Fame center Patrick Ewing

Ewing released a statement on May 22 that he has tested positive for coronavirus.

“This virus is serious and should not be taken lightly,” Ewing said. “I want to encourage everyone to stay safe and take care of yourselves and your loved ones. Now more than ever, I want to thank the healthcare workers and everyone on the front lines. I’ll be fine and we will all get through this.”

Ewing’s son, Patrick Ewing Jr., posted on Twitter May 25 that his dad was home from the hospital and was getting better.

Former Coyotes enforcer Georges Laraque

Former NHL enforcer Georges Laraque has tested positive for COVID-19.

The 43-year-old Laraque made the announcement on social media April 30 in a post showing him in a hospital gown.

“I guess I’m not invincible, just got diagnosed with Covid, since I’m asthmatic, not the best news, will fight it off!” Laraque said.

Laraque played 12 seasons in the NHL, including eight with the Edmonton Oilers and two with the Montreal Canadiens. He also suited up for the Phoenix Coyotes and Pittsburgh Penguins.

Former Suns guard Leandro Barbosa

In an interview with the New York Times’ Marc Stein, Barbosa revealed he had COVID-19 and found out on March 21.

“That night was the worst night of my life,” Barbosa said, referring to March 17, when coronavirus symptoms hit him the hardest after an evening practice with his team.

“Really, I felt that I was going to die, my man,” Barbosa said. “I was having a crazy fever. My head was extremely bad. My nose felt like it was closed, but it wasn’t closed. I was feeling a lot of pain in my back — I couldn’t find a position to lay down.”

Barbosa’s wife was 38 weeks pregnant, so doctors decided for the baby’s safety that they would induce labor right away. Barbosa watched the birth through FaceTime and spent two weeks quarantined away from his family. Barbosa’s wife did have the virus while the baby did not.

Their daughter, Isabella, is healthy and recently celebrated her one-month birthday.

Denver Broncos LB Von Miller 

Denver Broncos star linebacker Von Miller is confirmed positive for coronavirus, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported via Miller’s agent. Miller was resting at home and was expected to speak publicly on Friday, Rapoport added.

Los Angeles Rams C Brian Allen

NFL on FOX insider Jay Glazer reported Wednesday that Los Angeles Rams Center Brian Allen tested positive for coronavirus three weeks ago and again last week. Glazer said Allen lost all sense of sense of smell and taste. He’s now symptom-free and is expecting to be cleared later this week.

Los Angeles Chargers: One member of organization, possibly more

One member of the Los Angeles Chargers organization has tested positive for the coronavirus and two others have shown symptoms, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported. Owner Dean Spanos, general manager Tom Telesco and head coach Anthony Lynn were not among the group in question, Schefter added.

Tom Dempsey, former NFL player

Former New Orleans kicker Tom Dempsey died late Saturday while struggling with complications from coronavirus.

Ottawa Senators — Three more players, plus one unidentified

Four more Ottawa Senators personnel tested positive for coronavirus, the organization announced Wednesday. Three of those individuals were players, Sports Illustrated’s Alex Prewitt reported. The four are in addition to two players who previously tested positive. All who tested positive have since recovered, the organization said.

New York Knicks owner James Dolan

The Knicks announced on Saturday night that team owner and Madison Square Garden Company executive chairman James Dolan has tested positive for coronavirus. He is experiencing “little to no symptoms” and will continue to oversee business operations while in self-isolation.

Colorado Avalanche  — A second unidentified player

The Avalanche announced Saturday that a second player tested positive for the coronavirus. A statement from the organization said he is in self-isolation. Other players and staff who may have come in close contact with him have been informed and are isolated.

Colorado Avalanche — Unidentified player

The Avalanche announced Thursday that a player tested positive for COVID-19. The organization’s statement said the player has recovered and is back to normal.

Jason Collins, former NBA player

Former Nets big man Jason Collins, who also played for five other teams, announced Tuesday that he has coronavirus.

Ottawa Senators — A second player

The Ottawa Senators announced that a second player had test positive for the virus.

Boston Celtics — One player

The Celtics announced Thursday that a player tested positive.

Guard Marcus Smart later announced that he is the player. He was cleared of the coronavirus March 27, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

Los Angeles Lakers — Two players

Charania reported March 19 that two members of the Lakers tested positive.

The Lakers first got tests done in response to other organizations having players test positive who they had recently played.

Charania notes that more Lakers players might now get tested following the news.

Philadelphia 76ers — Three people

A statement from the Sixers said “certain individuals” in their organization, including players, coaches and staff, were tested. Three results came back positive for COVID-19.

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton

Saints head coach Sean Payton told ESPN he has coronavirus and then acknowledged it on his own twitter account.

Denver Nuggets — Member of the organization

The team announced that a member of the Nuggets organization tested positive for COVID-19. They were symptomatic and in self-isolation.

Cincinnati Reds — Arizona-based staff member

The Cincinnati Reds acknowledged March 18 that an Arizona-based employee tested positive. The Reds have their spring training facility in Goodyear, just west of Phoenix.

Ottawa Senators — Unidentified player

The Senators announced March 17 that a player tested positive for COVID-19. The player’s identity was not revealed. One of Ottawa’s last games before the NHL paused its season was on March 7 at San Jose — the building where an employee tested positive as well.

Brooklyn Nets — Kevin Durant and three others

The Nets announced on March 17 that four of their players had tested positive for coronavirus, and that one was showing symptoms while the other three were not. One of those players was revealed to be star Kevin Durant.

San Jose Sharks — Unidentified arena employee

On March 12, the San Jose Sharks revealed that a part-time employee at their home arena, the SAP Center, had tested positive for COVID-19. “We have been informed that this employee is recovering and feeling better,” their statement said.

Detroit Pistons F Christian Wood

The Pistons’ Christian Wood tested positive, Charania reported on Saturday, March 14. “Sources say Wood has shown no symptoms and is doing well,” Charania wrote.

Utah Jazz C Rudy Gobert and G Donovan Mitchell

Gobert’s positive test rocked the sports world when it delayed the start of an NBA game and was immediately followed by the league suspending operations immediately on March 11. That turning point soon led to the postponement or cancellation of just about every major professional North American sports league.

Gobert’s teammate Mitchell also reportedly tested positive for the virus.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Coronavirus Sports News

Arizona Sports

Pac-12 announces COVID-19 cases could lead to forfeitures

The Pac-12 announced that loosened forfeiture rules changed during the COVID-19 pandemic for the 2020-21 school year will no longer apply.

3 years ago

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)...

Associated Press

MLB to relax virus protocols when 85% on field vaccinated

Mask use would be dropped from dugouts and bullpens when 85% of major league players and primary field staff are vaccinated against the coronavirus.

3 years ago

Suns guard Chris Paul (Photo courtesy HBO)...

Arizona Sports

Trailer released for Chris Paul-led doc, ‘The Day Sports Stood Still’

HBO released a teaser trailer for "The Day Sports Stood Still," a documentary set to run just more than a year after the coronavirus pandemic struck.

3 years ago

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)...

Associated Press

Embiid, Simmons to miss NBA All-Star Game over contact tracing

Philadelphia 76ers teammates Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons were ruled out of Sunday's NBA All-Star Game after being flagged by coronavirus contact tracing,

3 years ago

Nick Ahmed #13 of the Arizona Diamondbacks fields a ground ball in the third inning of the MLB game...

Character Counts

D-backs SS Nick Ahmed championing fight against childhood hunger

The drive to turn the tide on childhood hunger has driven professional athletes, like Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed, to champion the cause.

3 years ago

General view of the stadium before the game between the Toronto Raptors and the Orlando Magic at Am...

Associated Press

Toronto Raptors to play rest of NBA season in Tampa

Ongoing challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic and how that affects crossing the border will keep the Raptors in Florida through the NBA season.

3 years ago

Coronavirus in sports: Yankees CL Chapman tests positive for COVID-19