Sports | October 22, 2021 1:11 pm

Allison Williams Lost “Largest Contract” of Career Over ESPN’s Vaccine Mandate

Williams claims her doctor advised her not to be vaccinated while attempting to get pregnant

Former ESPN sideline reporter Allison Williams. Williams claims she was fired from ESPN for not getting the Covid-19 vaccine -- she claims her doctor advised against it.
Former ESPN sideline reporter Allison Williams prior to a 2017 game.
Rich Barnes/Getty

Saying that she could not “put a paycheck over principle” longtime ESPN college football and basketball sideline reporter Allison Williams departed the network this week because of its COVID-19 vaccination mandate.

Williams, who is trying to have her second child and claims her doctor advised her not to be vaccinated while attempting to get pregnant, spoke about what the decision to leave cost her during an appearance on SiriusXM’s The Megyn Kelly Show on Thursday.

“It was contingent on me getting an injection, which I was morally, ethically and medically opposed to,” 37-year-old Williams said. “So when it came down to it, I knew I couldn’t get it, and when they denied my request for accommodation, I was very surprised.”

According to Williams, she walked away from her “dream” job and the “largest contract in my career” over the mandate.

“They’re essentially taking away what they believe is best for you because of the bureaucracy and the pressure that happens when you involve politics in medicine,” Williams said. “And this is a really dangerous space to occupy. And it scares me that people are not only supporting this, but encouraging it. Medical decisions need to be for individuals, not for the population en masse. Everybody acts like ‘this was your choice, you chose not to get it, so get a different job.’ That’s not choice, that’s coercion. Consent is fundamental to everything we do if we want to be a free people.”

Williams joined ESPN in 2011 after graduating from the University of Miami in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in communications. She previously worked for Fox Sports Florida.

According to the CDC, there is no evidence that shows any of the COVID-19 vaccines cause fertility problems. However, there is substantial evidence that COVID-19 vaccines do lower transmission and spread and that hospitalizations and deaths are currently mostly among unvaccinated people. While more studies are needed to assess the transmission risk of breakthrough infections, it seems it’s not as big of a concern as originally thought.

Good luck convincing Williams on those points, as she compared President Biden’s comments about the importance of vaccine mandates to things that a dictator would say. 

“I have never been so jarred by anything a president said,” Williams told Kelly. “To hear the leader of the free world stand up and say, ‘this isn’t about your freedom,’ I thought ‘oh my God, it is always about our freedom.’ If we don’t have freedom over our own bodies … we aren’t free. That was scary to me, that is something a dictator says. That is not something a leader of free people says.”