Former NBA star John Stockton, Gonzaga University’s most famous alumni, has had his season tickets revoked by the school because he won’t wear a mask at home games.
The famed Utah Jazz point guard recently told the Spokane, Washington, Spokesman-Review that the school canceled his season tickets because he refused a demand that he wear a mask because, as a prominent spectator, his mask refusal is conspicuous.
#Gonzaga has suspended the season tickets of its most prominent alum, John Stockton, for failing to comply with the school’s mask mandate.
What’s next for Stockton and his alma mater?
— Theo Lawson (@TheoLawson_SR) January 23, 2022
“Basically, it came down to, 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. “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 reported that Gonzaga Athletic Director Chris Standiford let him know of the school’s decision to bar him from the stadium. Still, he also noted that several officials had asked him to wear a mask.
SPRINGFIELD, MA – SEPTEMBER 11: John Stockton is inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame during an induction ceremony on September 11, 2009, in Springfield, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Standiford would not comment on the situation with Stockton but did say that the athletics department is only adhering to rules set forth by the school and the state. Standiford also cited the closing of concessions as an example of the school’s efforts at COVID mitigation.
Gonzaga President Thayne McCulloh also noted that masks are required, telling the paper, “it is imperative that we commit to wearing face coverings while in indoor, congregate settings. Masks are required in all classrooms, labs, and common areas such as offices, study lounges, hallways, library spaces, and places where others are present (with obvious exceptions, such as dining and certain fitness center activities). Students, ticket-holders, and all those attending basketball games at McCarthey Center and sporting events indoors are required to wear masks at all times.”
Stockton did say that while the masking and vaccination demands have put stress on his relationship with the school, he does not consider it a deal-breaker at this time.
The famed NBA player is known as a vaccine skeptic. Even in the Spokesman-Review interview, he claimed that more than 100 pro athletes had died immediately after being vaccinated. He also said that tens of thousands have died from taking the COVID vaccine.
The CDC claims it has received reports of 11,468 deaths of Americans in the weeks following vaccination. However, the agency has not determined if any of those deaths are related to the various coronavirus vaccines themselves or are from other causes.
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