On Monday, coach Nick Rolovich and four assistant coaches were fired for not following Washington State’s mandate requiring state employees without an approved exemption to be vaccinated.
Coach Rolovich applied for a religious exemption but was denied.
The Daily Wire reports Rolovich had three years remaining on his $3 million per year contract.
ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg stated that Coach Rolovich intends to sue the university for illegal termination.
This is not the first time school policies in the state of Washington have prompted litigation from coaches. In 2015, Coach Joe Kennedy was fired for taking a knee and praying after football games. His case made its way to the Supreme Court.
Rolovich is represented by attorney Brian Fahling, who said the termination was “unjust and unlawful.”
“It came after Coach Rolovich’s request for a religious exemption from the vaccine was denied by the University,” Fahling wrote in a letter obtained by Rittenberg. “The institution also indicated that even if the exemption had been granted, no accommodation would have been made.”
“As a result, Coach Rolovich will be taking legal action against Washington State University and all parties responsible for his illegal termination,” Fahling added.
As reported by The Daily Wire, WSU Athletic Director Pat Chun said of the development: “This is a disheartening day for our football program. Our priority has been and will continue to be the health and well-being of the young men on our team.”
Chun added, “The leadership on our football team is filled with young men of character, selflessness, and resiliency and we are confident these same attributes will help guide this program as we move forward.”
Fahling accused Chun of having “animus towards Coach Rolovich’s sincerely held religious beliefs.”
“Since at least early April, it became clear that Chun had already determined that Coach Rolovich would be fired,” Fahling wrote. “Chun’s animus towards Coach Rolovich’s sincerely held religious beliefs, and Chun’s dishonesty at the expense of Coach Rolovich during the past year is damning and will be thoroughly detailed in litigation.”
“It is a tragic and damning commentary on our culture, and more specifically, on Chun, that Coach Rolovich has been derided, demonized, and ultimately fired from his job, merely for being devout in his Catholic faith,” Fahling stated.
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