Would North Carolina University dare ban Michael Jordan from its home basketball games for not wearing a facemask? How about Kansas and Danny Manning? Not a chance. They’re too smart to stoop that low and bite the hands that fed them so well on and off the court. Gonzaga had the bad sense to ban its most famous alum, John Stockton for not masking up.
Gonzaga can’t designate a VIP area, with fewer people and not requiring masks? Apparently not.
'’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 told The Spokesman Review.
A 6-1 guard, Stockton scored 1,340 points in his four-year career at Gonzaga, including 20.9 points per game as a senior in 1983-84. He shot the lights out that senior year, hitting 57 percent, which is phenomenal for a guard. By also leading the league in steals, assists and scoring, he was chosen West Coast Athletic Conference player of the year. Stockton’s Bulldogs’ shirt hangs from the McCarthey Athletic Center rafters. He is simply the greatest basketball player to ever come out of Gonzaga University.
Stockton played for the Utah Jazz from 1984 to 2003. He was an all-star who broke Magic Johnson’s NBA career record for assists, and Johnson called him the “greatest team leader” he ever played against. The Jazz twice gave Michael Jordan’s great Chicago Bulls teams stiff competition in the NBA Finals. The team also erected a statue to Stockton outside the arena after his incredibly great career. He’s a well-deserving member of the NBA Hall of Fame who was a two-time All-NBA first-teamer. Finally, Stockton was a gold medalist on the 1992 and 1996 USA Olympic teams.
Last year, Stockton appeared in the nine-part video series "V-Revealed, COVID Edition," defending personal rights for individuals to make their own informed decisions about vaccines. Instantly making himself a marked man. He said, "This isn't a virus cheating us of these opportunities. It's the guys making decisions saying, 'No, no, we're too scared. We're going to shut everything down.” Several doctors participated in that video as well.
PolitiFact said Stockton made some false claims, but that’s not why Gonzaga has suspended his season tickets. It’s because of his refusal to wear a mask to the games. That’s despite Dr. Anthony Fauci’s statement that face masks aren’t needed unless an individual is sick and that the coronavirus was able to pass through personal face masks easily.
Last August, Gonzaga reinstated its mask requirement when the Delta variant was surging. Now, if the university could only reinstate some common sense.