Yesterday, we reported that Washington State University had fired head football coach Nick Rolovich, who had been the highest-paid employee in the state, for being unvaccinated against COVID-19. Now, it’s being reported that Rolovich is preparing to take legal action against the school for his firing.
The Daily Caller reported that Rolovich’s lawyer has said that the former coach is taking legal action against WSU “for his illegal termination.” Rolovich went on to accuse athletic director Pat Chun of “discriminatory and vindictive” behavior.
New: Nick Rolovich's lawyer releases a statement saying that he's taking legal action against Washington State and all parties responsible "for his illegal termination." He accuses AD Pat Chun of "discriminatory and vindictive" behavior.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) October 20, 2021
Brian Fahling, an attorney representing Rolovich, confirmed to ESPN that Rolovich’s request for a religious exemption based on his “devout” Catholic faith was denied by the university. Fahling claimed that Chun had decided that Rolovich would be fired back in April, long before Governor Jay Inslee had set a deadline of October 18 for employees to be vaccinated or to receive an exemption and accommodations from their direct supervisors.
“Chun’s animus towards Coach Rolovich’s sincerely held religious beliefs, and Chun’s dishonesty at the expense of Coach Rolovich during the past year, is damning and will be thoroughly detailed in litigation,” Fahling said in a statement. “Chun’s discriminatory and vindictive behavior has caused immeasurable harm to Coach Rolovich and his family.”
Chun claimed on Monday that Rolovich and his fellow coaches were well aware of the mandate and the consequences that would come from not following it.
“We’ve had conversations that date back months,” Chun said on Monday. “He was resolute in his stance and his right to make a choice. That choice did not put him in compliance with this proclamation from the governor, and that is why we sit here today.”
Fahling, however, was not having any of it.
“Furthermore, the University’s deceitfulness about being unable to accommodate Coach Rolovich even if his religious exemption request had been granted, is exemplified by Chun’s actions arranging a ‘secret’ donor trip that he had Coach Rolovich attend at the height of the pandemic in July 2020,” he said, according to KREM.
“During that excursion, Chun and other attendees contracted the disease, but Coach Rolovich did not,” he added. “It is a tragic and damning commentary on our culture, and more specifically, on Chun, that Coach Rolovich has been derided, demonized, and ultimately fired from his job, merely for being devout in his Catholic faith.”
Sadly, millions of Americans will be able to relate to Rolovich’s situation. We hope and pray that his lawsuit is a success.