‘I Cannot Put Paycheck Over Principle’ ESPN Reporter Quits After Being Denied Vaccine Exemption

By Neil Campbell | October 18, 2021
Neil lives in Canada and writes about society and politics.
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Allison Williams ESPN Quits Disney Denies Vaccine Exemption Health Moral Principle
Now-former ESPN reporter Allison Williams is seen during the Purdue versus Maryland game on February 27, 2016 in West Lafayette, Indiana. Williams has parted ways with ESPN after being denied an exemption to parent company Disney’s vaccine mandate. In parting words, Allison challenged coerced injections on a health, moral, and principle basis. (Image: Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

A 10-year veteran college sports reporter for ESPN has chosen to sacrifice her dream job in order to uphold morals, principles, and commitment to her family after being denied a vaccine medical exemption.

ESPN’s parent company, Disney, announced it would make Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination mandatory for all staff effective within 60 days in August. 

In early September, Allison Williams posted on Twitter, “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.”

The Tweet was posted along with an image of a statement by Williams where she notes her decision to reject vaccination was made in conjunction with a fertility specialist and her family doctor as she and her husband seek a second child. 

Breitbart News documented a litany of Twitter trolls who mocked the reporter’s decision as they towed the official narrative that the injections are safe, effective, and should be accepted ubiquitously and without question.

In an Oct. 15 video statement broadcast on Instagram, Williams went into detail about her decision to give up her job with the company she has worked for since 2011, “A great producer once told me ‘don’t bury the lead,’” she said.

“So, I have been denied my request for accommodation by ESPN and the Walt Disney Company and effective next week I will be separated from the company.”

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Williams, who was visibly emotional, characterized the events as a “dark and difficult time.”

Elaborating on potential health risks for women and expecting mothers, she stated, “I’ve also had a lot of people reach out, and women in particular, reach out and share their stories in regards to fertility and getting the injection.” 

“And to the women who got it and are having successful pregnancies and have babies in their arms, I am beyond thrilled for you. Congratulations. That’s amazing, and terrific, and I believe you.”

She continued, “To the women who have reached out and shared their experiences of getting the injection and subsequent miscarriages, menstrual irregularities, periods after menopause, I am so sorry that is your experience, and I pray for you, and I believe you.”

Williams, aged 37, is in a demographic at risk of serious complications from the novel gene therapy injections disseminated to fight against COVID-19. An Aug. 26 study published in the scientific journal Molecules titled An Update on COVID-19 Vaccine Induced Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia Syndrome [TTS] and Some Management Recommendations stated that, “TTS appears to mostly affect females aged between 20 and 50 years old, with no predisposing risk factors conclusively identified so far.”

In late September, Jessica Berg Wilson, a 37-year-old Seattle mother described by family as otherwise completely healthy, developed TTS and passed away as a result of accepting injection in order to continue to volunteer at her daughter’s Catholic school under Gov. Jay Inslee’s mandatory vaccination mandate.

Berg’s family challenged the mandate in a scathing obituary published in a local newspaper. The criticism was later tagged as “misinformation” and suppressed by Twitter.

In her video address, Williams revealed her objection was not only a health concern, but a moral concern, “In addition to the medical apprehensions regarding my desire to have another child…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.”

Allison said, holding back tears, “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 I’ve been able to have in my career.”

The now-former reporter said Disney sent out an email to cast members in April stating that although the corporation believed taking the vaccine was “the best way forward,” that ultimately, it was still a personal decision. 

“Their values have clearly changed,” she said. “I understand that. I don’t know what it’s like to have a multi-billion dollar company and to have shareholders and board members and financial quotas to answer to…I respect that their values have changed.”

“I had hoped they would respect that mind did not. And ultimately I cannot put pay check over principle. And I will not sacrifice something that I believe and hold so strongly to maintain a career.”

Williams also addressed the notion that the global vaccination drive is a question of being a role model citizen, “A lot of people have brought up the moral obligation receiving the vaccine is to being a good citizen, and I weighed that and I thought about the implications.”

“We all want to be good neighbors, we all want to end this pandemic. But ultimately, an injection that does not end transmission and spread did not weigh in morally.”

Large scale studies in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Israel of real-world data from the NHS, Medicare, and Israel’s state health providers have all illustrated that the majority of positive cases are fully vaccinated breakthroughs rather than a pandemic of the unvaccinated.

In September, a Harvard researcher analyzing data from Our World In Data found there was “no discernable relationship” between vaccination rate and new case count across 68 countries and almost 3,000 U.S. counties. 

Allison also had a message for supporters of vaccine cancel culture and vaccine passports, “I also want people to know, who support these mandates, that I fight for you. Because 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.” 

Williams continued, “Power given is seldom returned. And when that day comes, I want you to at least know that we fought, and we tried.”