A prominent American football coach was fired for refusing to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
Washington State University (WSU) fired Nick Rolovich, its highest-paid employee, and four of his assistants, for failing to comply with a vaccination mandate.
The mandate means that all state workers in Washington must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or lose their jobs.
Mr. Rolovich, 42, who was earning 3.1 million dollars (2.25 million pounds) a year, had requested a religious exemption from the mandate.
But WSU athletics director Pat Chun said the exemption was refused.
“This is a daunting day for our football schedule,” Chun said.
“Our priority has been and will continue to be the health and well-being of the young people on our team.”
Rolovich’s firing marks the culmination of a three-month showdown between the coach and Washington Democratic Governor Jay Inslee.
In August, Gov. Inslee announced that all government employees and health care workers would need two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine to keep their jobs. Monday was the deadline to get vaccinated or have a medical or religious exemption.
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But Mr. Rolovich had said he wasn’t going to get the vaccine, calling it a personal decision.
“Although I have made my decision, I respect that every individual – including coaches, staff and student-athletes – can make their own decision regarding the Covid-19 vaccine. I will not comment further on my decision,” he said. earlier this year.
According to the college, about 90 percent of WSU employees and 97 percent of students have been vaccinated.
Mr. Rolovich, who was in his second season at the WSU, is the first major college football coach to lose his job due to vaccination status.
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