Back in September, Allison Williams, who was widely known to be on the sidelines during college football games, announced on Twitter that she and her husband were trying to conceive their second child, so she would would not be getting the vaccine. Disney currently has a vaccine mandate for all salaried and non-union hourly employees.
Over the weekend, the 37-year-old took to Instagram to release a statement that she would be leaving the company for good because of its vaccine mandate.
Williams revealed that she is not “morally and ethically” aligned with the mandate.
“So I know I’ve been a bit mum since releasing the statement I put out a few months ago on my decision to not receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” Williams said, as transcribed by Awful Announcing. “I just want to give everyone an update on my situation with ESPN. A great producer once told me ‘Don’t bury the lede.’ 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.”
“First of all, thank you, everyone, who reached out, texted, emailed, called, messaged me. I can’t tell you how much light it brought in a really dark and difficult time. And I’ve also had a lot of people 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. To the women who have reached out and shared their experiences of getting the injection and subsequent miscarriages and menstrual irregularities, periods after menopause, I am so sorry that that is your experience, and I pray for you, and I believe you.”
“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 injection¹, 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. And the irony in all this is that a lot of these same values and morals 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.”
“And it wasn’t that long ago that those values were aligned with the Walt Disney Company. In April, they sent out an email to all cast members, as they call employees, saying that they believed the vaccine was the best way forward, but ultimately, it was a personal decision. Their values have clearly changed.”
“I understand that. I don’t know what it’s like to run a multimillion-dollar company and have shareholders and board members and financial quotas to answer to, not to mention societal and political pressure. So I respect that their values have changed. I had hoped that they would respect that mine did not.”
“Ultimately, I cannot put a paycheck over principle. And I will not sacrifice something that I believe and hold so strongly to maintain a career.”
“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 stop transmission and spread² for me, does not weigh in morally.”
“So I want to just say to that I know I’m not the only one walking away from a career they love, a profession that is a passion. And so many people that are in the same situation as me, serving society and benefiting this country in ways I could never do, they are nurses, they are teachers, they are doctors, they are police officers, and first responders, and they are most importantly our military, and pilots. And they too are choosing to put their beliefs first. And I just want you all to know I stand with you.”
“But I also want people to know who support these mandates that I will 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. Power given is seldom returned. 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. 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. 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.”
Doctors have been repeating for months that the Covid-19 vaccines are safe for pregnant women, women who are breastfeeding and women who would like to have babies.
“There is currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems in women or men,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s page about the safety of the vaccines for women’s reproductive health.
Williams has been at ESPN since 2011 and has been one of their most prominent sideline reporters for college football and basketball games.