Washington State went to great lengths to educate now-fired football coach Nick Rolovich about the COVID-19 vaccine. Unfortunately for them, they had no clue he was a raging conspiracy theorist.
Earlier this month, Rolovich was fired for not complying with the state’s mandate that all employees be vaccinated against COVID-19. He tried and failed to apply for a religious exemption to the mandate.
According to a lengthy ESPN story, Washington State took multiple steps to change Rolovich’s mind once they found out the coach was not going to get the COVID-19 vaccine earlier in the year. The athletic department even brought in a top immunologist from the school to help explain vaccines to Rolovich. One of his many questions Rolovich asked Dr. Guy Palmer was if the founder of Microsoft was involved in the vaccine.
“Over about an hour, Rolovich drove a conversation that focused on topics that were consistent with what Palmer said has been shared by the “anti-vax crowd on social media” over the past several years.
“Kind of typical ones: Is Bill Gates involved with the vaccines? Does [Gates] hold a patent on the vaccines?” Palmer recalled to ESPN. “He asked whether SV40 is in the vaccines and whether that could be a dangerous thing. And the answer to that is no.”
Rolovich announced a week ago that he was planning a lawsuit against WSU because of his dismissal. Rolovich’s attorney Brian Fahling said that Washington State athletic director Pat Chun and the school had held something against Rolovich because of his Catholicism. It should be noted that Chun is Catholic himself and was not involved in Rolovich’s religious exemption denial.
Rolovich was in his second season at Washington State and was fired after Washington State posted a 4-3 record through the first seven games of 2021.
His finished his career there with a 5-6 record and he was 28-27 while at Hawaii.