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Washington State's Nick Rolovich won't commit publicly to getting vaccinated despite mandate

Yahoo Sports US logo Yahoo Sports US 9/14/2021 Nick Bromberg

We still don't know how Washington State coach Nick Rolovich will be complying with the state's vaccine mandate. 

All state of Washington employees are required by law to get the COVID-19 vaccine unless they are granted a religious or medical exemption. Before that mandate was implemented, Rolovich had refused to get the safe and reliable COVID-19 vaccine and was even unable to travel to Pac-12 media day this summer as a result.

Rolovich has said that he would be complying with the vaccine mandate, but continues to decline how he'll be doing that. Monday, Rolovich was asked about the mandate by a reporter from KING 5 in Seattle and refused to shed any light on his efforts to meet Washington's requirements. 

"Yeah, I'm not going to talk about that Chris. I understand what you guys are trying to get to," Rolovich said to Chris Daniels when he was asked if he had scheduled a COVID-19 vaccine.

Video: Challenges to vaccine mandates ‘will ultimately fail’: Legal expert (ABC News)


Daniels then asked if Rolovich was seeking an exemption if he wouldn't be getting a shot.

"I'm not going to talk about that either," Rolovich said. All state employees in Washington must be vaccinated by Oct. 18 if they aren't granted a religious or medical exemption. Employees who don't comply risk losing their jobs. 

While it's true that Rolovich doesn't have an obligation to publicly talk about how he's complying with the mandate, he brought the public COVID-19 vaccine discussion upon himself by issuing a statement about his refusal to get vaccinated before Pac-12 media day. All in-person attendees at media day had to show proof of vaccination. When Rolovich was going to be the only coach not in attendance, he had to explain why he wasn't going to be there like the other 11 head coaches in the conference.

Had Rolovich gotten vaccinated — or simply explained how he would comply with the state's mandate — he could end the discussion on his own terms. Instead, he continues to belabor the issue by trying to deflect. 

Deflection isn't a great look when you're the highest-paid employee of a state. Maybe Rolovich will soon learn that. Otherwise, he's going to continue to face questions regarding the state's mandate until he provides proof of how he's complied.


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