Gonzaga University has suspended the season tickets of one of its most famous alumni - John Stockton - for breaking its mask mandate.
The basketball hall of famer went on to make some perverse claims regarding the COVID-19 vaccine having been turfed out by his alma mater.
Stockton is one of only two players to have their jersey retired by Gonzaga, but now finds himself cast out with only some baseless conspiracy theories for company.
The Spokane, Washington university has a mask mandate in place for its games at the McCarthey Athletic Centre, to which the former Utah Jazz point guard chose not to adhere.
In an interview with The Spokesman, Stockton said he was informed of the decision to retract his season tickets in an "congenial" but "unpleasant" conversation with Gonzaga Athletic Director Chris Standiford.
“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,” said the 59-year old.
“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 is a noted anti-vaxxer, and last year contributed to a snappily-titled documentary called COVID and the Vaccine: Truth, Lies and Misconceptions Revealed.
He erroneously claimed that more than 100 professional athletes have died due to 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.
Surprisingly, Stockton did not provide any names.
Gonzaga did not directly respond to Stockton's claims, saying, "We will not speak to specific actions taken with any specific individuals.
“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.”
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