ESPN Reporter Allison Williams announced she will be leaving the network over its COVID vaccine mandate to all employees.
In a video posted to Instagram Friday, Williams said her request for accommodation was denied by ESPN and the Walt Disney Company and that she would be "separated from the company" effective this week.
Williams shared on Twitter last month that she had decided not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine because she was trying to conceive her second child.
She also thanked the women who reached out to her over the past few weeks about their experiences with getting the vaccine while pregnant.
"I can't tell you how much light it brought during a really dark and difficult time and I've also had a lot of people, women in particular, reach out and share their stories in regards to fertility and getting the injection," Williams said in the video. "To the women who got it and are having successful pregnancies and had babies in their arms, I am beyond thrilled for you. Congratulations, that's amazing and terrific and I believe you."
"To the women who have shared their experiences of getting the injection and subsequent miscarriages, menstrual irregularities, periods after menopause ... I am so sorry that that is your experience. And I pray for you and I believe you," she continued.
While fighting back tears, Williams explained that her decision was based on what is best for her regardless of the consequences.
"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 those same values and principles I hold so dear are what made me a really good employee and probably helped with the success that I've been able to have in my career," the veteran reporter explained.
Additionally, Williams said she could not "put a paycheck over principle."
She noted that there are others who have chosen to walk away from their careers over the vaccine mandates, which she finds admirable.
With respect to those who support the mandates, Williams said, "I fight for you."
"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 doesn't align with your values, power given is seldom returned," she said. "And when that day comes, I want you to at least know that we fought, and we tried."
"I don't know what the future holds, obviously, for any of us. But I'm going to focus on what I have to be thankful for. 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," Williams concluded.
She joined ESPN in March 2011 and had previously worked for Fox Sports Florida.
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