Nick Rolovich has refused to comply with the COVID-19 vaccination mandate from Washington Governor Jay Inslee. The star coach and four others have now been let go by Washington State University.
The instruction, requiring all state employees to receive the vaccine by Monday, did not sit well with Rolovich and assistant coaches Craig Stutzmann, Mark Weber, Ricky Logo, and John Richardson.
WSU President Kirk Schulz said that nearly 90 percent of WSU employees and 97 percent of WSU students are fully vaccinated.
Sticking It To The Mandate
In July, Rolovich expressed his unwillingness to receive the COVID-19 vaccine when he tweeted that he would abstain from a Pac-12 football media day because of his decision.
According to USA Today, the 42-year-old’s mentor and ex-University of Hawaii football coach June Jones said Rolvovich filed against the vaccine requirement due to religious reasons.
The outlet also revealed that the former WSU coach confirmed Jones’s statements during a news conference on October 9.
Rolovich said the vaccine requirement was not good news to wake up to, but he did not believe it was “malicious.”
A WSU press release reported by PEOPLE showed that the lack of compliance from the coaches made the school initiate an immediate separation process based on the terms of their contracts.
While Rolovich’s termination is processed, the role of acting head coach has been given to defensive coordinator Jake Dickert.
In a statement, WSU athletics director Pat Chun expressed it was a “disheartening day” for their football program, but the health and wellbeing of the young team members will be prioritized.
Chun said the leadership on their football team is filled with young men of character, selflessness, and resiliency, and these attributes will guide the team going forward.
Another Sports Personality Says No
NBA star Kyrie Irving stands with the fight against the COVID-19 vaccine, which is in New York City’s mandate, even though his refusal got him benched by the Brooklyn Nets.
The Blast reported that the 29-year-old explained his reasons for refusing to be vaccinated in an Instagram Live session on October 13.
That Wednesday, Irving opened his 20-minute session by saying, “Nobody’s going to hijack my voice.”
The father-of-one requested that everyone respect his choices and beliefs, adding that his convictions are not influenced by being “anti-vax” but by doing what felt right to him.
Irving added that if he was going to be demonized about having more questions about the vaccine and taking time to decide about his life, then it is what it is.
The NBA star said he was not worried about losing a reported earning of $15.5 million.
Despite the repercussions, more sports personalities such as Rolovich and Irving continue to stand their ground against the COVID-19.