ESPN reporter Allison Williams is leaving the network over her decision not to get the COVID-19 vaccine, Williams said on Instagram on Friday.
Disney, ESPN’s parent company, has a coronavirus mandate in place for all employees that goes into effect on Thursday. Williams said last month that she was not vaccinated and that she plans to stay that way while she and her husband try to have a second child.
Williams said in a video that she had been denied a “request to host” ESPN and would be “separated” from the company next week.
“Belief is a word I have been thinking about a lot lately, because in addition to the medical apprehensions about my desire to have another child with regard to this injection, I also do not morally and ethically agree with that, ”Williams mentioned. “And I had to really dig and analyze my values and my morals, and finally I have to put them first.
“And the irony in all of this is that a lot of those same values and principles that I hold dear are what made me a great employee and probably contributed to the success that I have been able to have in my career. “
Williams “splits off” from ESPN over COVID vaccine
Williams joined ESPN in March 2011 and has been on the coverage of college football and basketball.
She said in September that she would not be on the coverage of a college football game this season because she was not vaccinated and she and her husband were trying to have a second child.
“It was a deeply difficult decision to make and it’s not something I take lightly,” she said in September, in part. “I understand that vaccines have been essential in the effort to end this pandemic, but taking the vaccine right now is not in my best interest. After much prayer and deliberation, I decided that I should put my family and personal health first.
The CDC has said that pregnant women can safely receive one of three coronavirus vaccines available to Americans. An overwhelming majority of medical experts and health organizations have determined that the vaccine has no impact on fertility.
Williams is at least the second ESPN reporter to criticize Disney over the vaccine’s mandate. “SportsCenter” presenter Sage Steele apologized earlier this month after making controversial comments on Jay Cutler’s podcast regarding the tenure, former President Barack Obama and suggested that women are partly to blame when athletes make inappropriate comments in the locker room.
Williams said she was unsure of the rest of her career, but hopes to be back on the sidelines soon.
“I’m trying to understand that the biggest game I’ve worked on in my career, the national championship game, could be the last college football game I worked on,” she said. “But I’m going to focus on what I need to be grateful for. I will keep my faith. I’m going to pray that things get better, and that I can see you on TV to some extent, in a stadium, covering a game soon.