Do Utahns Care What John Stockton Thinks About Masks?

S. F. Mori

He has made his opinion known
Salt Lake City, Utah(Image is author's)

The Salt Lake Valley was home to John Stockton and his family for around twenty years. Stockton became a star on the Utah Jazz NBA team. It was the only NBA team for which he played, and he did very well. He held records in the NBA and became a Hall of Fame player. A street in Salt Lake City is named after him.

John Houston Stockton (born March 26, 1962) is an American former professional basketball player. Regarded as one of the greatest point guards and passers of all time, he spent his entire NBA career (1984–2003) as a point guard for the Utah Jazz, and the team made the playoffs in each of his 19 seasons. In 1997 and 1998, together with his longtime teammate Karl Malone, Stockton led the Jazz to the franchise's only two NBA Finals appearances, both of which were lost to the Chicago Bulls.
Stockton is a ten-time NBA All-Star and a two-time Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee (in 2009 for his individual career, and in 2010 as a member of the 1992 United States Olympic basketball team). In 1996, he was named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history. In October 2021, Stockton was again honored as one of the league’s greatest players of all-time by being named to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team. Stockton also holds the NBA records for most career assists and steals by wide margins. [Wikipedia}

Stockton attended Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. He moved his family back to the area after he retired from the NBA and left Salt Lake City. His children have also played basketball for Gonzaga.

As a season ticket holder for basketball games at Gonzaga University, Stockton was asked to wear a mask at the games since Gonzaga has a current policy requiring everyone to wear a mask when attending the games. Stockton did not want to comply and refused to wear a mask citing that he was called out because he is well known.

There is still much controversy over mask mandates. Some people will wear the masks, but they don't want the government or businesses to require them of everyone. Others are totally against masks even though health care professionals and government officials recommend masks to stop the spread of COVID.

Utah has a mask mandate in some areas. Businesses and venues may require mask wearing in their establishments. The Utah Jazz Vivant Arena has been requiring people to show proof of vaccination before entering for a game. They have not been requiring all fans to wear a mask during the games. Some do, and some do not.

Do people in Utah, and particularly Jazz fans, care about what John Stockton says about masks? Do they agree with his stance or not? As with everything, there are two sides to every question. Many will criticize Stockton while others praise him.

After the news about Stockton having his basketball tickets at Gonzaga suspended, someone placed a mask on the face of the statue of Stockton which is in front of the Vivant Arena in Salt Lake City. [CBS Sports]

Stockton no longer lives in Utah, but he has been a big part of sports history in the state. He is a legendary player with the Utah Jazz. What he says and does is still news.


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I am a retired President/CEO of civil rights organizations. I have been a Mayor and California State Assemblyman as well as a College Instructor of Economics. I have also been an entrepreneur and international business consultant. I will be sharing articles mostly about life, politics, racism, travel, health, and relationships.

Salt Lake City, UT

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