Gonzaga Yanks Season Tickets of Anti-Mask Legend

John Stockton refuses to wear mask at games
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2022 2:02 AM CST
Anti-Mask Gonzaga Legend Gets His Season Tickets Suspended
Former Gonzaga player John Stockton talks about his career during a National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame induction event, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017, in Kansas City, Mo.   (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley, File)

(Newser) – John Stockton went from a standout basketball player at Gonzaga University to an NBA legend and Hall of Famer—but his impressive career wasn't enough to stop his Washington state alma mater from suspending his season tickets. As Stockton explains to the Spokesman-Review, it essentially boils down to his refusal to wear a mask at games. "Being a public figure, someone a little bit more visible, I stuck out in the crowd a little bit," and people complained about his lack of a facial covering amid the COVID-19 pandemic, he says. The university gave him an ultimatum, he says: wear a mask or have the basketball season tickets suspended. While he says he did consider donning a mask at games, he ultimately opted not to.

Stockton, one of just two players to have his number retired by Gonzaga, has spoken out against COVID vaccines, mask mandates, and lockdowns, including in a documentary that also featured doctors known for spreading misinformation, CNN reports. In the documentary, Stockton appears to suggest the COVID vaccine has killed 150 professional athletes and tens of thousands if not millions of other people—claims with no proof. "Attendees at basketball games are required to wear face masks at all times," the school says in a statement responding to Stockton's interview. "We will not speak to specific actions taken with any specific individuals." Stockton says he was told that "When the rule changes, then tickets will be reoffered." (Read more Gonzaga stories.)

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