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In an exclusive interview with basketball great John Stockton on “RFK Jr. The Defender Podcast,” Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Stockton discussed masks, COVID vaccines and the general state of pandemic policies.

Kennedy called Stockton “one of the greatest basketball players of all time, an NBA legend, named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history.”

Kennedy added:

“[Stockton] continues to hold the record for most assists and steals by wide margins. He won gold medals in 92 and 96 on the U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team. His entire NBA career was as a point guard for the Utah jazz and the team made the playoffs in each of its 19 seasons.”

Officials at Stockton’s alma mater, Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, last month told Stockton they needed to suspend his basketball season tickets because Stockton refused to wear a mask during games he attended as a spectator. 

Stockton said university officials told him, “We can’t have you not wearing a mask.”

Stockton told Kennedy: 

“I didn’t feel like I could morally wear a mask to the games because it means so much, it means so much more when it comes to the autonomy that we should have with our bodies, that I couldn’t do it.”

Stockton had a child who was injured by a vaccine 30 years ago, and it changed his perspective, he said. So it wasn’t a leap for him to question the COVID vaccines.

Stockton said:

“A governor can step in and mandate an experimental drug to anybody that wants to live in the state and live a normal life, otherwise suffer the consequences. And to me, that doesn’t seem right.”

Kennedy and Stockton discussed the pressure on professional athletes, the impact of the pandemic and mask-wearing on teachers and children in schools, and the general atmosphere in the country.

Asked by Kennedy why he thinks healthy athletes are being told what they must put in their bodies, Stockton replied:

“I wish I could think of how many times I’ve thought to myself, well, this can’t happen in the United States. It can’t happen in the world.”

Kennedy responded with another question, about COVID vaccine mandates for children: 

“Every other society in history has made a major foundational ethical presumption that the grownups and the adults make the sacrifices to lower the risk for children, not the other way around. What does that say about what’s happening to our society?”

Watch the podcast here: