Former Washington State football coach Nick Rolovich is taking his former employer to court, claiming he and four assistant coaches were illegally released for not complying with the school's and state's COVID-19 vaccination mandate.
According to multiple outlets, Rolovich sought a religious exemption from meeting WSU's vaccine mandate. The school will not confirm nor deny Rolovich's ask for exemption because he is "a devout Catholic," only that he and four assistants didn't meet Washington state's requirement for staff to have at least one vaccination shot by Monday.
Rolovich's attorney, Brian Fahling, has alleged WSU athletic director Pat Chun fired Rolovich out of spite and was planning the firing as far back as April of this year.
"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," Fahling said in a statement, via ESPN's Adam Rittenberg.
Just received this from an attorney representing Nick Rolovich, who plans to sue #WashingtonState for illegal termination. Accuses AD Pat Chun of “discriminatory and vindictive behavior.” pic.twitter.com/KTOnIchKXD— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) October 20, 2021
Fahling also said in the statement that Rolovich was escorted to his car by university police upon being fired and was not allowed to address the team prior to being let go.
The Seattle Times said the deadline for the statewide mandate was set in August and that Rolovich was the state's highest-paid employee prior to being fired.
Back in August, the Vatican released a video of Pope Francis urging Catholics to get vaccinated against COVID-19.