Sports

Utah Jazz legend John Stockton has Gonzaga season tickets suspended

SPOKANE, Wash. — Legendary Utah Jazz point guard and Gonzaga University alumni John Stockton is the center of some controversy this week. The 59-year-old Washington native had his basketball season tickets suspended by his alma mater due to an unwillingness to comply with the university’s mask mandate.

Stockton, a longtime season ticket holder, father of former Gonzaga basketball player David Stockton, and Bulldog legend whose jersey hangs retired among the rafters in the McCarthey Center, has long since spoken out against COVID-19 during the pandemic and confirmed the action by Gonzaga in an 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.”

“I think certainly it stresses (the relationship with Gonzaga). I’m pretty connected to the school,” Stockton continued in an interview. “I’ve been part of this campus since I was probably five or six years old. I was just born a couple blocks away and sneaking into the gym and selling programs to get into games since I was a small boy. So, it’s strained but not broken, and I’m sure we’ll get through it, but it’s not without some conflict.”

As Stockton and the University continue to work out a way to proceed, some Jazz fans have taken to social media to voice their concerns and disagreement. Following several twitter conversations that suggested placing a mask over the Hall of Famers statue outside of Vivint Arena, Salt Lake Tribune and Jazz beat writer Andy Larsen posted a photo of the statue that displayed that action having been carried out.

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