John Stockton may be an NBA Hall-of-Famer and one of the bests ever to play in point guard position, but in matters of safety and health amid a pandemic, he’s an ordinary citizen subjected to mandates and rules. Refusal to follow those rules resulted in losing his Gonzaga season tickets.
Gonzaga bans Stockton from watching home games
It’s no secret John Stockton does not believe in Covid vaccinations. He claimed there’s lots of proof showing athletes dying or suffering from its consequences. With the ongoing pandemic, such claims and theories need to be supported by data and science, and if there’s not enough evidence, they will remain as unverified claims.
Gonzaga asked its most famous basketball products ever to wear a mask or risk getting his season tickets suspended. John held his ground which resulted in his season tickets getting revoked. Here’s his explanation from the Spokesman.
“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.”
We know team legends get special treatment at games. But when it comes to health and safety, Stockton couldn’t get away with this one. He considered putting on a mask for a while but decided to stick by his position in the end.
No special treatment
It’s not the first time the all-time assists leader’s name popped out in connection to the Covid pandemic. It’s okay if Stockton has his own beliefs and views about Covid, but being a public person, particularly at Gonzaga, means the spotlight will be on him at all times. For the University, it came down to fairness and enforcing the rules.
Some states in the U.S. are mandating fans to get vaccinated and observe minimum health protocols such as wearing face masks and social distancing, so fans have no choice but to oblige. That means even John Stockton, a basketball and Gonzaga legend, has to follow those rules.
No matter what your position is on vaccination, or the other protocols being enforced, I hope we can agree on one thing. At least this was resolved without drama. An example of civilized discourse in a time of major differences in our society. Stockton understood his position would have consequences, accepted them, and used his right to express disagreement civilly.
Hopefully, this means that once this damn pandemic is done, there will be no bad blood, and Stockton will be back on the stands, supporting Gonzaga.