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A longtime ESPN reporter will not be on the sidelines for college football games this season after choosing not to receive the COVID vaccine.
Allison Williams — who covers college basketball and college football — announced on Twitter that she will not be getting vaccinated as she and her husband try for their second child.
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
On Thursday, Williams posted a statement on the social media platform breaking the news:
While my work is incredibly important to me, the most important role I have is as a mother. Throughout our family planning with our doctor, as well as a fertility specialist, I have decided not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at this time while my husband and I try for our second child. This was a deeply difficult decision to make and it’s not something I take lightly. I understand vaccines have been essential in the effort to end this pandemic; however, taking the vaccine at this time is not in my best interest. After a lot of prayer and deliberation, I have decided I must put my family and personal health first. I will miss being on the sidelines and am thankful for the support of my ESPN family. I look forward to when I can return to the games and job that I love.
According to ESPN Press Room, Williams has been with the company since March 2011. Before joining ESPN, Williams covered the Florida Panthers and the Florida Marlins for Fox Sports Florida.
Colleague Sage Steele — co-host of the noon ET SportsCenter — showed her support for Williams on Twitter.
“I couldn’t possibly respect you more for making this decision — the best decision for you & your family. God bless, Allison…I will be praying for you!”
I couldn't possibly respect you more for making this decision — the best decision for you & your family.
God bless, Allison…I will be praying for you! https://t.co/5ODKVcu1qp
— Sage Steele (@sagesteele) September 9, 2021
In August, Disney — which owns ESPN — announced a vaccine mandate for their employees.
“Employees who aren’t already vaccinated and are working on-site will have 60 days from today to complete their protocols and any employees still working from home will need to provide verification of vaccination prior to their return, with certain limited exceptions,” Disney said in its statement announcing the new requirement. “Vaccines are the best tool we all have to help control this global pandemic and protect our employees.”
Williams’ decision comes on the same day that President Biden announced a new vaccine and testing mandate for companies with over 100 employees.
As The Daily Wire reported, “Companies with at least 100 employees must require their employees get vaccinated or submit to weekly COVID-19 tests under a new Biden administration plan to combat the coronavirus and encourage vaccination.”
Businesses that do not comply with the new order will face fines of up to $14,000 per violation.
Shortly after the announcement, Daily Wire co-CEO Jeremy Boreing announced that the company will not be complying with the mandate.
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to [email protected].