For the second time this month, an ESPN reporter has criticized the company for its COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
This time, however, the reporter did something about it.
, a sideline reporter for the network’s coverage of college football, announced she is quitting ESPN rather than get the jab.
Williams had benched herself a month ago, tweeting that she would not work college games this fall because of the mandate.
The 10-year ESPN veteran said last month that she was avoiding the vaccine for the time being because she and her husband were trying to conceive their second child. A doctor had advised against getting vaccinated during this time, Williams said.
Now, however, after ESPN denied her request for an “accommodation,” Williams opted to leave for good.
In an Instagram post on Friday, Williams noted that Disney, ESPN’s parent company, had said in April that getting vaccinated would be a personal choice. But Disney changed its mind and mandated vaccines by Sept. 30.
“Ultimately, I cannot put a paycheck over principle. And I will not sacrifice something that I believe and hold so strongly to maintain a career,” Williams said on Instagram, citing her “medical apprehensions” as the basis for her decision to quit.
“A lot of people have brought up the moral obligation receiving the vaccine is to being a good citizen. And I weighed that, and I thought about the implications. We all want to be good neighbors. We all want to end this pandemic. But ultimately, an injection that does not stop transmission and spread² for me, does not weigh in morally.”
Williams added, “I also want people to know who support these mandates that I will fight for you. Because if this is the direction we take our country, there will come a time when the government or corporations mandate you to get something that does not align with your values. Power given is seldom returned. And when that day comes, I want you to at least know that we fought, and we tried.”
Williams’ former colleague, Sage Steele, was suspended from her show on ESPN for a week after she said in a podcast that the mandate was “sick,” and that she grudgingly got jabbed because she wanted to keep her job.
But Williams’ announcement, coming on the heels of an anti-mandate protest by Southwest Airlines pilots, demonstrates that the narrative that only uneducated hillbillies are avoiding the shots is nonsense.
Besides airline pilots, teachers, nurses, and other professionals are rejecting the order to get the vaccine.
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