ESPN reporter Allison Williams has left the network over Covid-19 vaccine mandates. ESPN’s parent company, Disney, requires all employees to be vaccinated by October 21. In September, Williams was not allowed to be on the sidelines reporting on college football games.
This will be the first fall in the last 15 years I won’t be on the sidelines for College Football.
My heart hurts posting this but I’m at peace with my decision. pic.twitter.com/np5V3gdrfW
— Allison Williams (@AllisonW_Sports) September 9, 2021
At the time, she tweeted, “This will be the first fall in the last 15 years I won’t be on the sidelines for College Football. My heart hurts posting this, but I’m at peace with my decision.” Her statement said, “Throughout our family planning with our doctor, as well as a fertility specialist, I have decided not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at this time while my husband and I try for our second child.”
According to the CDC, “There is currently no evidence that antibodies made following COVID-19 vaccination or that vaccine ingredients would cause any problems with becoming pregnant now or in the future.”
Williams has worked for ESPN since 2011 and covered college basketball and college football. Prior to joining ESPN, she worked for Fox Sports Florida, covering the Florida Panthers and Florida Marlins.
Sage Steele, an ESPN personality, supported Williams’ choice to step away from the network and not be vaccinated. Steele came under fire for her remarks about the mandates where she said, “I respect everyone’s decision, I really do, but to mandate it is sick, and it’s scary to me in many ways.”
I couldn't possibly respect you more for making this decision — the best decision for you & your family.
God bless, Allison…I will be praying for you! https://t.co/5ODKVcu1qp
— Sage Steele (@sagesteele) September 9, 2021
Steele eventually did get vaccinated to keep her job but did not want to do it. Steele tweeted in response to William’s announcement, “I couldn’t possibly respect you more for making this decision—the best decision for you & your family. God bless, Allison…I will be praying for you!”
On October 15, Williams released a video explaining the ongoing drama. She explains that her accommodation request was denied and that she will be separated from the company. She also claims that the Walt Disney Company told employees that it would be a personal decision to get the vaccine back in April.
She continues to say that she is “Morally and ethically not aligned with this…and she stands with anyone who has lost their job over vaccine mandates, including police officers, nurses, doctors, teachers, and first responders, those who are benefiting this country in ways I could never do.”
She concludes the video by noting that she is also standing up for those that are proponents of the mandate. She says, “Power given is seldom returned,” while promising to fight as hard as she could to maintain everyone’s freedoms, regardless of personal values.
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