Gonzaga suspends Stockton’s season tickets over mask rule

Jan 23, 2022, 1:40 PM | Updated: Jan 24, 2022, 11:53 am

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Gonzaga has suspended John Stockton’s basketball season tickets after the Hall of Fame point guard refused to comply with the university’s mask mandate.

Stockton, one of Gonzaga’s most prominent alums, confirmed the move in a Saturday interview with 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 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 has come out against COVID-19 vaccines, mask mandates and other protective measures. Last June, he participated in a documentary titled “COVID and the Vaccine: Truth, Lies and Misconceptions Revealed.”

In the interview with the Spokane newspaper, Stockton claimed without evidence that more than 100 professional athletes have died after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

“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.

Experts have told the AP there is “no scientific evidence” that either COVID-19 or the mRNA vaccines have increased sudden cardiac arrest, often referred to as SCA, among athletes.

The false claim that large numbers of athletes are collapsing or dying due to COVID-19 vaccines has circulated on social media for months, particularly among anti-vaccine circles, and has been rejected by medical experts.

Meanwhile, public health experts say masks are a key virus-prevention tool that are most effective when worn by a large number of people.

In a statement, Gonzaga officials said they are committed to implementing health and safety protocols, which include an indoor mask mandate. The university also requires proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test taken with the last 72 hours to attend home athletic events. As a way to enforce the mask mandate, Gonzaga has suspended its food and beverage sales at games.

“We will not speak to specific actions taken with any specific individuals,” the statement read. “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.”

Stockton played for Gonzaga from 1980 to 1984, when the Zags were a middling program that never posted a record better than 17-11. The team has since retired his No. 12. A life-sized poster of Stockton in action hangs in a concourse of the McCarthey Athletic Center, part of a gallery of Gonzaga greats.

The Spokane native was a first-round draft pick of the Utah Jazz in 1984 and set an NBA record with 15,806 career assists before his retirement in 2003. He and his family have lived in Spokane since then, and he has been a fixture at Gonzaga basketball games.

___

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Hells Angels founder Ralph "Sonny" Barger and his wife Sharon are shown after his release on...
Associated Press

Sonny Barger, figurehead of Hells Angels, dies at 83

LIVERMORE, Calif. (AP) — Sonny Barger, the leather-clad figurehead of the notorious Hells Angels motorcycle club, has died. He was 83. Barger’s death was announced on his Facebook page late Wednesday. “If you are reading this message, you’ll know that I’m gone. I’ve asked that this note be posted immediately after my passing,” a posting […]
13 hours ago
Associated Press

2nd visitor in 3 days gored by Yellowstone park bison

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) — For the second time in three days, a visitor to Yellowstone National Park was gored by a bison, park officials said Thursday. A 71-year-old woman from West Chester, Pennsylvania and her daughter inadvertently approached the bison Wednesday as they were returning to their vehicle at a Yellowstone Lake trailhead. […]
13 hours ago
Associated Press

New York lawmakers to vote on new gun rules following ruling

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York lawmakers plan to vote Thursday on legislation seeking to limit the proliferation of firearms in public after the Supreme Court gutted the state’s century-old handgun licensing law. The state is overhauling its rules for carrying guns after the court decided that ordinary citizens had a right to arm themselves […]
13 hours ago
New York Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado ,left, greets legislators before presiding over the Senate during...
Associated Press

New York lawmakers to vote on new gun rules following ruling

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York lawmakers plan to vote Thursday on legislation seeking to limit the proliferation of firearms in public after the Supreme Court gutted the state’s century-old handgun licensing law. The state is overhauling its rules for carrying guns after the court decided that ordinary citizens had a right to arm themselves […]
13 hours ago
Brooke Davis, photographed Thursday, June 30, 2022 in McDonough, Ga., has been struggling with medi...
Associated Press

Some medical debt is being removed from US credit reports

Help is coming for many people with medical debt on their credit reports. Starting Friday, the three major U.S. credit reporting companies will stop counting paid medical debt on the reports that banks, potential landlords and others use to judge creditworthiness. The companies also will start giving people a year to resolve delinquent medical debt […]
13 hours ago
The New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday, June 29, 2022 in New York. Americans with stock portfolio...
Associated Press

From stocks to crypto, a punishing six months for investors

Americans with stock portfolios or retirement investment plans would likely prefer to forget the last six months. The S&P 500, Wall Street’s broad benchmark for many stock funds, was on pace Thursday afternoon for a 20% loss through the end of June after starting the year at an all-time high. It’s the worst start to […]
13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
CANVAS ANNUITY

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
...
Arizona Division of Problem Gambling

Arizona Division of Problem Gambling provides exclusion solution for young sports bettors

Sports betting in Arizona opened a new world to young adults, one where putting down money on games was as easy as sending a text message.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

ADHS mobile program brings COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services and partner agencies are providing even more widespread availability by making COVID-19 vaccines available in neighborhoods through trusted community partners.
Gonzaga suspends Stockton’s season tickets over mask rule