On Sunday morning, Theo Lawson of The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, reported that Gonzaga University has suspended the basketball season tickets of its most famous alum, Utah Jazz legend John Stockton, because he is not in compliance with the mask mandate in place at the basketball arena on campus.

Lawson interviewed Stockton for the story, and Stockton was quoted as saying, “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.

“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.”

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Stockton, whose No. 12 is one of only two numbers retired by Gonzaga (it’s one of nine retired by the Jazz), has been very outspoken against COVID-19 vaccines, appearing on a documentary in June of last year called “COVID and the Vaccine: Truth, Lies and Misconceptions Revealed.”

Lawson reported that many of the claims Stockton makes in the documentary have been deemed not credible by medical professionals.

Gonzaga released a statement to Lawson which read in part, “Gonzaga University continues to work hard to implement and enforce the health and safety protocols mandated by the State and by University policy, including reinforcing the indoor masking requirement.

“Attendees at basketball games are required to wear face masks at all times. We will not speak to specific actions taken with any specific individuals. We take enforcement of COVID-19 health and safety protocols seriously and will continue to evaluate how we can best mitigate the risks posed by COVID-19 with appropriate measures.”

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Stockton said “of course” he has considered wearing a mask at games.

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

He said he doesn’t believe his relationship with the university is permanently damaged, and the understanding is that his tickets will be renewed when there is no longer a mask mandate at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

The Gonzaga men’s basketball team is the top-ranked squad in the country, while the women’s team is still undefeated in West Coast Conference play at 5-0.

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