Le Parisien report that 60-year-old Ligue 1 club Stade de Reims’ doctor Bernard Gonzalez has taken his own life after contracting COVID-19.
Members of the club discovered today that Gonzalez, who was the chief doctor for the 1st team, had committed suicide.
After contracting COVID-19, Gonzalez was in quarantine with his wife, who had also been contaminated with the disease. He left a letter explaining his decision to commit suicide.
Arnaud Robinet, mayor of Reims, is stunned by the news: “I have strong thoughts for his parents, his wife, his family. He is a collateral victim of COVID-19… I know that he has left a note to explain his decision, but I will ignore the contents of it. He was an engaged and a very loving man.”
An individual inside the club has told the outlet that he was not even aware that Gonzalez had contracted COVID-19: “I spoke to him last week and he never brought it up. It is incomprehensible. What a tragedy. I am now going to have to let the players and staff know. It is going to be a terrible shock.”
Speaking on the club’s official website, Stade de Reims President Jean-Pierre Caillot sought to pay homage to Gonzalez:
“Words fail me, I am stunned by this news. This pandemic attacks Stade de Reims in the heart, he is a character who personifies Reims and a great professional of the sport who has left us. His mission at the club of more than 20 years had been carried out with the utmost professionalism, in a passionate and even selfless manner. Doctor Gonzalez, in the harshest periods for the club, worked on a voluntary basis (without payment). He is my personal doctor, and today all my thoughts, those of the club where he will remain a strong figure, go to his wife and his parents.”