Washington State University football coach Nick Rolovich has been fired from his $3 million a year position after he refused to get a COVID vaccine.
Rolovich, 42, attempted to cite a religious exemption for the vaccine, but was dismissed after failing to receive the shot by October 18 – WSU’s deadline for staff.
The sports coach was raised Catholic, although refused to comment last week when he still adheres to the faith.
Some Catholics have blasted the vaccine, because it is made using cell lines derived from aborted fetuses. But the Catholic Church itself – including Pope Francis – have backed vaccines, and urged worshippers to receive the shots.
He was not the only member of the team’s staff that was terminated as other unvaccinated assistant coaches were also let go from their positions.
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Rolovich had applied for the exemption after the Cougar’s 34-31 victory over Stanford on Saturday.
‘I’m not terribly happy with the way it happened,’ Rolovich told The Seattle Times.
‘I hope no player that I coach has to wake up and feel the way I felt today.
‘I don’t think it was malicious, but that wasn’t a great thing to wake up to, to be honest with you.’
He previously said in July that his reason for not getting the vaccine was ‘private’ but claimed that he respected workers who were receiving the shot, and hailed Washington state’s success at administering them.
Rolovich had later claimed he would get the vaccine, following Washington governor Jay Inslee’s announcement of the mandate in August because of the state’s soaring cases.