ESPN reporter quits job after refusing to take a vaccine

·2-min read
File: ESPN sideline reporter Allison Williams (left) during an interview in 2017 (ESPN)
File: ESPN sideline reporter Allison Williams (left) during an interview in 2017 (ESPN)

A reporter with ESPN announced her decision to leave the network rather than get vaccinated against Covid-19, citing her effort to conceive a second child.

In a video on her Instagram account, Allison Williams announced her decision to step down from the network, where she works as a college football and basketball reporter.

Ms Williams said that her decision comes after careful moral and ethical considerations. “An injection that doesn’t stop transmission doesn’t weigh morally to me,” she said.

She said she is not morally and ethically aligned with the network’s decision to impose its vaccine mandate on all employees.

Last month, US President Joe Biden mandated that all private companies with over 100 employees ask for proof of vaccination status or a negative Covid-19 test.

Ms Williams said the network had changed its position from April when it announced that vaccines are important but whether to take them or not will remain a personal choice for employees.

“I respect that their values have changed, and I hoped that they would value that mine hadn’t,” she said.

Ms Williams also cited instances of women who experienced fertility problems after receiving the vaccine.

In a statement last month, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention however strongly recommended vaccines for women who are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or were recently pregnant to prevent serious disease and adverse effects.

Ms Williams’ decision to resign from the network comes just a few weeks after she announced a leave of absence.

In an Instagram post, Ms Williams had announced that she will be missing the college football season for the first time in 15 years as she had decided not to take the Covid-19 vaccine in order to try for another child.

In a statement to USA Today Sports, ESPN said that while they cannot comment on Ms Williams’ specific situation, their focus remains on a safe work environment.

They added that the network is currently only granting accommodation requests in consultation with their legal team.

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