Gonzaga suspends John Stockton’s season tickets for disregarding mask mandate

John Stockton’s latest pass has cost him his Gonzaga season tickets.

The Hall of Fame point guard and Gonzaga alum had his basketball season tickets suspended after declining to comply with the school’s mask mandate at McCarthey Athletic Center, according to The Spokesman-Review.

“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, 59, told the newspaper. “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.”

The NBA’s all-time assists leader has been vocal in his anti-vaccination beliefs while also spreading misinformation about COVID-19. He baselessly claimed in his interview with The Spokesman-Review that professional athletes have been dying from the vaccine. There is no evidence COVID vaccines are causing deaths.

“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 told the paper.

Gonzaga suspends John Stockton’s season tickets for disregarding mask mandate
John Stockton in the stands at a Gonzaga game in 2016.

Stockton described his conversation about the decision with Gonzaga athletic director Chris Standiford as “congenial” but “not pleasant.”

For entry to its home athletic events, Gonzaga requires proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within the last 72 hours. But the school has also recently become stricter in enforcing the mask mandate, The Spokesman-Review reported, which led to Stockton having his season tickets suspended.

Top-ranked Gonzaga only has five home games left on its schedule this season, but Stockton, who played at Gonzaga from 1980-84, will be forced to watch them from afar.

Gonzaga suspends John Stockton’s season tickets for disregarding mask mandate
John Stockton, a Gonzaga alum and Jazz legend, is the NBA’s all-time assist leader.
AFP via Getty Images

“I think certainly it stresses (the relationship with Gonzaga). I’m pretty connected to the school,” said Stockton, a Spokane, Wash. native. “I’ve been part of this campus since I was probably 5 or 6 years old. I was just born a couple blocks away and sneaking into the gym and selling programs to get into games since I was a small boy. So, it’s strained but not broken, and I’m sure we’ll get through it, but it’s not without some conflict.”