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ESPN sideline reporter Allison Williams leaving over mandatory vaccination policy

Allison Williams, sideline reporter with ESPN poses for a photo on the field at AT&T Stadium...
Allison Williams, sideline reporter with ESPN poses for a photo on the field at AT&T Stadium before the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game between Notre Dame and Alabama in Arlington, Texas, Friday, Jan. 1, 2021.(AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 10:32 AM CDT
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(Gray News) - Veteran sideline reporter Allison Williams has stated she will be parting ways with ESPN after deciding to not comply with the company’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate.

Disney, which owns ESPN, announced that all employees must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 22. Special accommodations would be offered on a case-by-case basis, according to a statement ESPN sent to USA Today.

In September, Williams posted a statement on Twitter saying she had “decided not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at this time,” citing she and her husband are trying to have another child.

The sports reporter posted a video on Instagram Friday to explain her decision, saying in addition to her “medical apprehensions” of what receiving the vaccine could do in regards of having another child, Williams is “morally and ethically not aligned” with the vaccine.

She explains that she needs to put her values, morals and principles first and points out that those same traits have contributed to the success of her career.

“I respect that their values have changed,” Williams said of Disney’s choice to move to a vaccine mandate. “I had hoped that they would respect that mine did not. And ultimately, I cannot put a paycheck over principle.”

Williams acknowledges she is not the only person walking away from a career because of the mandates and recognizes several other high-profile careers in the video post.

“I just want you all to know, I stand with you,” Williams said.

The reporter ended the video with uncertainty about the future but hope that she would be able to be back on the sidelines again soon.

Williams has covered college football and basketball games from the sidelines since 2011.

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