SPOKANE, Wash. — Gonzaga University has suspended the season tickets of Jazz legend John Stockton over his refusal to adhere to his alma mater's mask policy.
Stockton told The Spokesman-Review that the decision was relayed to him during a meeting with university officials. He described his meeting with Athletic Director Chris Standiford as “congenial” but also “not pleasant.”
Stockton, who is one of only two Gonzaga players to have had his jersey retired by the school, is against COVID-19 mask mandates and has refused to be vaccinated.
“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 newspaper Saturday. “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.”
Along with a requirement to wear masks, Gonzaga also requires proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to attend home games.
Standiford issued a statement, although he did not directly talk about the decision to ban Stockton from games.
“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,” the statement read.
Stockton told the newspaper that he considered adhering to the mask policy, but ultimately chose not to follow the mandate.