NBA Hall of Famer John Stockton drew criticism on Sunday — and had his season tickets to his alma mater’s games suspended — after he made wild, baseless claims about the effects of the COVID vaccine.
In an interview with The Spokesman-Review, a newspaper based in Spokane, Washington, Stockton revealed that his season tickets to his alma mater had been suspended because he refused to comply with the school’s masking policy. He said that, in the end, “they were going to have to either ask me to wear a mask or they were going to suspend my tickets.”
Stockton has been very vocal in his defiance of COVID safety measures, including masking and vaccinating. In the same interview, Stockton claimed that more than 100 professional athletes have died from a COVID vaccination.
“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,” Stockton said.
Those claims are not backed up by any science or actual data. And as a result, Stockton was promptly mocked on Twitter.
“John Stockton just walking around every day sincerely believing that six NBA dudes dropped dead from the jab during game action and no one will talk about it,” David Roth posted.
Some users drew comparisons between Stockton and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who has been similarly outspoken against the COVID vaccine. “Looks like John Stockton and Aaron Rodgers both graduated from the University of YouTube,” one person wrote.
Keith Olbermann was more direct, and instead of joking, asserted that Stockton and those like him need real help.
“It’s past time that we can simply look at paranoid, delusional conspiracy theorists like John Stockton as risks to the community in the time of Covid,” the sports commentator wrote. “We need to address their inability to act or think rationally, and for their sake and ours, compel them to get help.”
Here are just a handful of the many comments:
You can check out more responses to Stockton’s words below.