Longtime ESPN college football and basketball reporter Allison Williams announced on Thursday that she would not be n the sidelines for this football season because she refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
“My heart hurts posting this, but I’m at peace with my decision,” she tweeted. “While my work is incredibly important to me, the most important role I have is as a mother. 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 a second child.”
“This was a deeply difficult decision to make, and it’s not something I take lightly. I understand vaccines have been essential in the effort to end this pandemic; however, taking the vaccine at this time is not in my best interest,” Williams added. “After a lot of prayer and deliberation, I have decided I must put my family and personal health first.”
Williams concluded by saying that she was “thankful for the support of my ESPN family,” adding, “I look forward to when I can return to the games and job that I love.”
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
ESPN released a statement to NBC News saying that it would not “comment on an individual.”
“We are going through a thorough review of accommodation requests on a case by case basis and are granting accommodations where warranted,” the statement said. “Our focus is on a safe work environment for everyone.”
This came after The Walt Disney Company, which co-owns ESPN, announced at the end of July that it would require all salaried and non-union hourly employees to be vaccinated within 60 days.
“At The Walt Disney Company, the safety and well-being of our employees during the pandemic has been and continues to be a top priority,” the company said at the time.
“Toward that end, and based on the latest recommendations of scientists, health officials, and our own medical professionals that the COVID-19 vaccine provides the best protection against severe infection, we are requiring that all salaried and non-union hourly employees in the U.S. working at any of our sites be fully vaccinated,” it added.
This also comes after President Joe Biden announced sweeping vaccine mandates that will essentially force millions of Americans to either get vaccinated or lose their jobs. This is all completely uncalled for, as individuals should be free to make their own decisions on whether to get vaccinated or not, without having to worry about being fired.
Here’s hoping we see Williams back on the sidelines very soon.