Detlef Schrempf did not mince words over fellow NBA All-Star John Stockton’s wild COVID-19 takes.
Stockton, arguably Gonzaga’s most famous alum, had his season tickets for home basketball games suspended over his refusal to comply with the university’s mask mandate.
Schrempf quote tweeted an article from the Spokesman-Review that discussed Stockton’s history of nonfactual COVID-19 claims and Gonzaga’s ticket suspension decision.
In his post, he wrote, “Bat s–t crazy. I am so disappointed we have so many role models not up to the task. This is not helping!”
Stockton — who holds the NBA’s all-time steals and assists records — is one of just two players whose number was retired by Gonzaga. He described the conversation between him and Gonzaga Athletic Director Chris Standiford to discuss the matter “congenial” but also “not pleasant.”
“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 to the Spokesman-Review. “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 has publicly opposed mask mandates, shutdowns and vaccines, and has peddled conspiracy theories relating to COVID-19, none of which have had any scientific backing. In June, he appeared a documentary titled “COVID and the Vaccine: Truth, Lies and Misconceptions Revealed.”
In his interview with the Spokesman-Review, Stockton baselessly claimed that around 150 professional athletes have died because of the COVID-19 vaccine and that millions have died from vaccines worldwide.
“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 during the interview.
These comments, which were slammed by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in a CNN interview as “not based on reality or facts,” have not been scientifically backed by medical professionals.
“I think statements like that make the public look upon athletes basically as dumb jocks, for trying to explain away something that is obviously a pandemic,” Abdul-Jabbar said.