‘REALLY DIG DEEP’: Reporter Allison Williams Leaves ESPN on COVID Vaccine Mandate

Wanting to have a second child, she said she was unwilling to compromise her “morals” and “ethics” for her work.

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A week before ESPN’s vaccination mandate takes effect, veteran reporter Allison Williams announced that she is separating from the network over her decision not to receive the coronavirus vaccine.

Citing conversations with her doctor and a fertility specialist, Williams said the vaccine is not in her best interest as she and her husband are trying to conceive a second child.

“I had to dig deep and analyze my values ​​and my morals – ultimately, I need to put them first,” Williams, who joined ESPN in 2011, said in a video posted to his Instagram account on Friday.

In the five-minute clip, Williams fought back tears when she said ESPN and her parent company Disney had denied her a “lodging request.”

“Starting next week, they will separate me from the company,” Williams said. The college sports reporter did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Washington Post.


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ESPN also did not respond to a message from The Post Sunday night about the Williams case. In an email sent to USA Today, a spokesperson for the network declined to comment on his condition specifically.

“We are undergoing a comprehensive review of accommodation requests on a case-by-case basis, and we are granting accommodations in accordance with our legal obligations,” an ESPN spokesperson told the newspaper. “Our focus is on a safe work environment for everyone.”

Williams’ announcement comes weeks after another prominent ESPN figure condemned the network’s vaccination mandate that would take effect on Friday. Last month, in an interview with former NFL quarterback turned podcaster Jay Cutler, host Sage Steele called ESPN’s vaccine policy “sick.” In the same interview, Steele said that she received the vaccine, but felt “defeated” because her company required it as a condition of employment.


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On Saturday, Steele commented on Williams’ Instagram post in a show of support.

“So much love, respect and prayers on the way!” Steele wrote.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends coronavirus vaccines for anyone 12 years of age and older, including those who are pregnant, nursing, or trying to get pregnant. The agency says there is no evidence linking vaccines to fertility problems in women or men.

Guidance for pregnant people and those trying to conceive has fluctuated and been unclear. That has left those who are expecting babies one of the most vaccine-reluctant populations in the country. Less than 26 percent of pregnant Americans have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine while waiting, CDC data shows.


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Williams said in the Instagram video that Disney sent employees an email in April saying that while the company encouraged workers to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, it was ultimately a personal decision.

We apologize, but this video could not be loaded.

However, during the summer, when coronavirus cases spiked amid the highly contagious delta variant, Disney announced that it would require all employees, including about 4,000 who work for ESPN, to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Last month, Williams announced on Twitter that he would not cover this fall’s college football season because he would not receive the coronavirus vaccine while trying to have a second child.

On Friday, Williams said she understood the company’s policy, but added that she was not willing to compromise her “morals” and “ethics” for her work.

“I respect that their values ​​have changed,” Williams said. “I was hoping they would respect that mine didn’t. Ultimately, I cannot put a paycheck above the beginning. I will not sacrifice something that I believe and hold so strongly in to maintain a career. “



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