ESPN reporter Allison Williams announced in an emotion-packed video that she will leave the network rather than compromise her principles and be vaccinated against the coronavirus.
She said in an Instagram video posted on Friday her “request for accommodation” was denied and that as of this coming week, she would part ways with the Disney-owned network.
In her video, she thanked the many people who offered support.
Alison Williams is sticking to her principles and resigning from #ESPN
“I am also so morally and ethically not aligned with this.”
Additionally, Williams said she wasn’t going to “put a paycheck over principle.”
— Libertarian Party NH (@LPNH) October 17, 2021
“Belief is a word I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, because in addition to the medical apprehensions regarding my desire to have another child in regards to receiving this injection, I am also so morally and ethically not aligned with this. And I’ve had to really dig deep and analyze my values and my morals, and ultimately I need to put them first,” she said.
“And the irony in all this is that a lot of these same values and principles that I hold dear are what made me a really good employee, what helped with the success that I’m able to have in my career,” she said.
“It wasn’t that long ago that these values were aligned with the Walt Disney Company,” she said, describing an April memo from Disney that she said indicated that employee vaccinations were what the company wanted, but that individuals would have freedom of choice.
Since then, however, the company line has hardened.
“Their values have clearly changed,” she said, later adding, “I had hoped they would respect that mine did not.”
“Ultimately, I cannot put a paycheck over principle,” she said. “I will not sacrifice something that I believe and hold so strongly to maintain a career.”
She noted that many people in other walks of life are standing up for their principles, and said that making a stand is important.
And that those acquiescing to the mandates now — or even applauding them — might come to regret it.
“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,” she said.
We can fight Covid and defend freedom simultaneously.
— Jonathan Isaac (@JJudahIsaac) October 15, 2021
“I don’t know what the future holds … I’m trying to wrap my head around the thought that the largest game I’ve worked in my career, the national championship game, might be the last game I work. But I’m going to focus on what I have to be thankful for,” she said.
“I’m going to hold on to my faith. I’m going to pray that things get better, and that I can see you on the television set in some capacity, in some stadium, covering some game soon. Until then, God bless, and I’m going to go hug my baby.”
Last month, ESPN commentator Sage Steele, who bowed to the mandate, spoke out against it.
“I respect everyone’s decision, I really do, but to mandate it is, um, sick,” Steele said. “And it’s scary to me in many ways. But I have a job, a job that I love, and frankly, a job that I need, but again, I love it. I’m not surprised it got to this point, especially with Disney, a global company … but it was actually emotional.”