ESPN sideline reporter Allison Williams will be leaving her job after 10 years due to her refusal to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Williams said her doctor advised her against getting the vaccine, as she and her husband are trying to get pregnant with their second child. Though she applied for accommodation, ESPN denied her request.
“Effective next week I will be separated from the company,” Williams said in an Instagram video, per The Federalist.
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Williams thought she would be able to choose whether or not to get the vaccine after ESPN said it would be a personal decision for employees. But, after the company enforced a vaccine mandate in July, Williams said she had no choice but to move forward with her career.
“Their values have clearly changed,” she said. “I understand that. I don’t know what it’s like to run a multibillion-dollar company and to have shareholders and board members and financial quotas to answer to and not to mention societal and political pressure, so I respect that their values have changed. I had hoped they would respect that mine did not.”
“Ultimately, I cannot get a paycheck over principle,” she added. “I will not sacrifice something that I believe and hold so strongly to maintain a career.”
Williams also shared her sympathy for others who have faced similar situations.
“I know I’m not the only one walking away from a career they love, a profession that is a passion. And so many of the people who are in the same situation as me are serving society and benefiting this country in ways I could never do,” she said. “They are nurses, they are teachers, they are doctors, they are police officers and first responders, they are most importantly our military, and they too are pilots. They too are choosing to put their beliefs first, and I just want you all to know I stand with you.”
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