ESPN college football reporter Allison Williams has decided to step down from her role during the upcoming season due to her network’s coronavirus vaccine requirements.
Williams announced her decision on Twitter Thursday, saying that she decided to forego the vaccine to focus on her plans to have a second child.
“This was a deeply difficult decision to make, and it’s not something I take lightly,” Williams wrote. “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.”
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
“I must put my family and personal health first,” Williams continued.
“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,” she concluded.
(RADEK MICA/AFP via Getty Images)
According to the Hill:
ESPN notified its 5,500 employees who travel to events in May that they had to be vaccinated by Aug. 1. At the time, ESPN said a number of hosts for sporting events were requiring the company’s workers to be vaccinated.
Walt Disney, ESPN’s parent company, subsequently said in late July that all employees had to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. The deadline for that policy is Sept. 30.
“We aren’t going to comment on an individual,” ESPN said in a statement. “We are going through a thorough review of accommodation requests on a case by case basis and are granting accommodations where warranted. Our focus is on a safe work environment for everyone.”
Williams started working at ESPN in 2011. This will be the first time in 15 years that she will not be on the sidelines during the college football season.