ESPN’s senior reporter Allison Williams allegedly leaving the company due to vaccine mandate

Veteran reporter Allison Williams has decided to leave her position at ESPN rather than comply with the network’s mandate that all employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The college football and basketball sideline reporter, made the announcement last month that she was opting out of the season because she had not received the vaccine as she and her husband tried for a second child, said Friday night that her “request for accommodation” had been denied. Effective next week, Williams said, she will be “separated from the company.”

“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 in an Instagram video. “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 Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has said there is currently no evidence the COVID vaccines cause fertility problems in women and men, and that “the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any known or potential risks of vaccination during pregnancy.”

In a statement emailed to USA TODAY Sports, ESPN declined to comment on Williams’ specific situation. “We are going through a thorough review of accommodation requests on a case-by-case basis, and are granting accommodations consistent with our legal obligations,” the statement said. “Our focus is on a safe work environment for everyone.”

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