College football fans have gotten used to seeing ESPN’s Allison Williams on the sideline during games, but this season, the 37-year-old won’t be performing her usual duties.
Williams revealed this afternoon on Twitter that she and her husband are trying to conceive their second child and after consulting with her doctor and a fertility specialist, she has decided not to take the COVID-19 vaccine at this time.
Disney, ESPN’s parent company, currently has a vaccine mandate for all salaried and non-union hourly employees.
“This will be the first fall in the last 15 years I won’t be on the sidelines for College Football,” Williams wrote. “My heart hurts posting this but I’m at peace with my decision.
“This was a deeply difficult decision to make and it’s not something I take lightly. I understand vaccines have been essential in the effort to end this pandemic; however, taking the vaccine at this time is not in my best interest.”
This will be the first fall in the last 15 years I won’t be on the sidelines for College Football.
My heart hurts posting this but I’m at peace with my decision. pic.twitter.com/np5V3gdrfW
— Allison Williams (@AllisonW_Sports) September 9, 2021
Williams, who has been a sideline reporter for ESPN college football and basketball since 2016, hinted during a recent episode of “Sideline Pass,” the podcast she co-hosts with colleagues Kris Budden and Molly McGrath that she would be away from the job for a while.
“That’s another game that I’ll definitely be watching this weekend… which is all I’ll be doing this weekend,” Williams said, via Awful Announcing. “So just to address the elephant in the room, I am NOT working Week 1. Probably not working Week 2 either for ESPN on the sidelines for college football.”
It’s possible Williams could work to get a medical exemption for the vaccine if she wants to return to work sooner than later, but that process will likely take time and she could still be barred from working events due to stadium or conference protocols.
In the meantime, we wish all the best to Williams and her husband.