Gonzaga basketball suspends John Stockton’s season tickets over mask refusal

Dream Team member John Stockton and his wife Nada arrive on the blue carpet at the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame Class of 2009 Induction ceremony in Chicago on August 12, 2009. The 1992 U.S. Men's Olympic Basketball Team, along with nine other U.S. athletes and special contributors, will be honored at the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. UPI/David Banks

SPOKANE, Washington, Jan. 23, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — Gonzaga University basketball’s most famous alumnus, NBA legend and former Utah Jazz point guard John Stockton has had his season tickets suspended by the school as a result of his refusal to wear a mandated mask.

In an interview with the Spokane-Review, Stockton said the decision was made because he is a known figure.

“They were asking me to wear a mask to the games and being a public figure, someone a little bit more visible, I stuck out in the crowd a little bit,” Stockton said in the article. “And therefore they received complaints and felt like from whatever the higher-ups — those weren’t discussed, but from whatever it was higher up — they were going to have to either ask me to wear a mask or they were going to suspend my tickets.”

Stockton has been vocal about his anti-vaccination stance, and appeared in a 2021 film titled “COVID and the Vaccine: Truth, Lies and Misconceptions Revealed.”

During the newspaper interview, Stockton claimed that more than 100 professional athletes have died of vaccination. He also said tens of thousands of people – perhaps millions – have died from vaccines. The article did not cite any names or evidence Stockton may have shared.

“I think it’s highly recorded now, there’s 150 I believe now, it’s over 100 professional athletes dead – professional athletes – the prime of their life, dropping dead that are vaccinated, right on the pitch, right on the field, right on the court,” Stockton said in the interview.

Reporter Theo Lawson added a qualifier after Stockton’s quote:

“Such claims are dubious and not backed by science, nor are they deemed credible by medical professionals, according to FactCheck.org, a project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center, and research reported by PolitiFact, which is run by the Poynter Institute,” Lawson wrote.

Stockton told Lawson he would consider wearing a mask to keep his season tickets.

“Of course. You consider everything, every option when you’re presented with something like that, and I considered it in great detail.”

Gonzaga requires proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within the previous 72 hours from those seeking admission to home athletic events.

Stockton spent his entire NBA career (1984–2003) with the Utah Jazz.


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