Entertainment

ESPN sacks Allison Williams over her refusal to abide by company-wide vaccine mandate


ESPN has fired Allison Williams for refusing to abide by the company’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.  

Williams had announced last month that she would not be getting the vaccine because she and her husband are trying to have their second child, she said in an Instagram video where she addressed her termination. 

She was initially barred from working on the sidelines of college football games this season because she refused to comply with the network’s vaccine mandate while she and her husband try for their second child.

Williams, who began working at the network in 2011, typically works college football and basketball games, but missed Week 1 of the ongoing football campaign before making an announcement on Thursday.

In an Instagram video on Saturday, Williams said that her ‘request for accommodation’ had been denied on Friday night, about a month after announcing she would be sitting the season out because she hadn’t yet received the vaccination as she and her husband tried for a second child.

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Pictured: In an Instagram video on Saturday, Allison Williams said that her ‘request for accommodation’ had been denied on Friday night

The news comes about a month after she announced she would be sitting the season out because she hadn't yet received the vaccine as she and her husband tried for a second child

The news comes about a month after she announced she would be sitting the season out because she hadn’t yet received the vaccine as she and her husband tried for a second child

'I tried, unsuccessfully, to keep this brief and not get emotional' Williams captioned the Instagram video where she addressed being let go from the network

‘I tried, unsuccessfully, to keep this brief and not get emotional’ Williams captioned the Instagram video where she addressed being let go from the network

Instead, Williams said she will be ‘separated from the company’ effective next week.

‘Belief is a word I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, because in addition to the medical apprehensions regarding my desire to have another child in regards to receiving this injection, I am also so morally and ethically not aligned with this,’ Williams said 

‘And I’ve had to really dig deep and analyze my values and my morals, and ultimately I need to put them first.’

‘And the irony in all this is that a lot of those same values and principals I hold so dear are what made me a really good employee and probably helped with the success that I’ve been able to have in my career.’

The 37-year-old, who has been with the network since 2011, said she was having trouble coming to terms with the fact that the national championship game she covered in January may now be the last college football game she will work.

The 37-year-old has been with the network since 2011, and typically worked college football and basketball games

The 37-year-old has been with the network since 2011, and typically worked college football and basketball games

Williams maintained that she wouldn't get vaccinated as she and her husband tried for their second child, citing her fertility specialist

Williams maintained that she wouldn’t get vaccinated as she and her husband tried for their second child, citing her fertility specialist

Williams, who began at the network in 2011, maintained that she wouldn’t get vaccinated as she and her husband tried for their second child, citing her fertility specialist.

‘While my work is incredibly important to me, the most important role I have is as a mother,’ she wrote in a statement.  

‘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.’ 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report there is no evidence that shows any of the COVID-19 vaccines impact fertility. 

Disney, which owns ESPN, announced in late July that all salaried and non-union hourly employees are required to be vaccinated. 

The company-wide vaccine mandate is set to begin on Friday, drawing criticism from ‘SportCenter’ host Sage Steele. 

However, Steele eventually did get vaccinated, according to the Post. 

ESPN reporter Allison Williams will not be working on the sidelines of college football games this season because she has refused to comply with the network’s vaccine mandate while she and her husband try for their second child.

Williams, who began at the network in 2011, typically works college football and basketball games, but missed Week 1 of the ongoing football campaign before making an announcement on Thursday.

‘While my work is incredibly important to me, the most important role I have is as a mother,’ he’s wrote in a statement. ‘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.’

ESPN reporter Allison Williams will not be working on the sidelines of college football games this season because she has refused to comply with the network's vaccine mandate while she and her husband try for their second child

ESPN reporter Allison Williams will not be working on the sidelines of college football games this season because she has refused to comply with the network’s vaccine mandate while she and her husband try for their second child

Williams explained her absence in a statement, calling the vaccine 'essential,' while adding that right now, taking the injection is not in her best interest

Williams explained her absence in a statement, calling the vaccine ‘essential,’ while adding that right now, taking the injection is not in her best interest

Disney, which owns ESPN, announced in late July that all salaried and non-union hourly employees are required to be vaccinated.

‘Employees who aren’t already vaccinated and are working on-site will have 60 days from today to complete their protocols and any employees still working from home will need to provide verification of vaccination prior to their return, with certain limited exceptions,’ read Disney’s statement on the company vaccine mandate.  

Williams has been with ESPN since 2011

Williams has been with ESPN since 2011 

Williams did not criticize anyone for getting the vaccine, and even acknowledged that it has been ‘essential’ in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘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,’ she continued. 

‘After a lot of prayer and deliberation, I have decided I must put my family and personal health first. I will miss being on the sidelines and am thankful for the support of my ESPN family. I look forward to when I can return to the games and job that I love.’

According to CDC guidelines, the vaccines have been approved for anyone over the age of 12, including pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding newborn children. 

Williams and her husband had a boy in July of 2019, according to her Instagram page.



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