Ben Shapiro, the founding editor of The Daily Wire, announced Friday the conservative media outlet has hired former ESPN reporter Allison Williams after she left the network over its parent company’s vaccination mandate.
Williams, a college basketball and football reporter, left ESPN after she was sidelined in September for failing to comply with a rule put in place by The Walt Disney Company requiring all cast members to be inoculated against COVID-19.
In a statement of her own, Williams said she is “thrilled and honored” to join The Daily Wire.
“I am proud to be a part of a company that fights for our rights and I cannot wait to bring agenda-free sports reporting to The Daily Wire’s members and millions of followers,” she said. “Leaving ESPN was one of the most difficult decisions of my career, but it was the right thing to do. I respect people who choose to get the COVID-19 vaccine, but it was not the appropriate medical decision for me at this time. No one should be forced to choose between their livelihood and the freedom to make their own health care choices — it is simply un-American.”
Williams tweeted Friday afternoon she is “beyond excited” to start her new gig.
The ex-ESPN reporter is forgoing the vaccination after consulting her doctor and a fertility specialist. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it should be noted, has stated all adults — including women trying to become pregnant — should take the shots.
“Throughout our family planning with our doctor, as well as a fertility specialist, I had decided not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at this time while my husband and I try for our second child,” Williams previously explained. “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.”
Williams, who has been with ESPN since March 2011, said last week she was denied her request for accommodation by the sports network and The Walt Disney Company and “will be separated from the company.”
“I also want people to know who support these mandates that I fight for you,” she explained. “Because if this is the direction we take our country, there will come a time when the government or corporations mandate you to get something that does not align with your values. Power given is seldom returned. And when that day comes, I want you to at least know that we fought, and we tried.”
Several social media users have praised The Daily Wire for hiring Williams.
“Great to see this,” replied journalist Rav Arora. “Creating new opportunities and building new bridges is the only path forward when our institutions are in decline and failing to protect and serve the people.”
Writer Samuel Sey, known for his criticism of critical race theory, wrote, “You guys weren’t kidding when you said you’re committed to changing the culture. Incredible stuff. The future looks bright at The Daily Wire.”