Catholic Head Football Coach Nick Rolovich Gets Support During His Recent Court Appearance From NBA Legend and Spokane Bishop
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Nick Rolovich was the head football coach at Washington State University. Rolovich, a devout Catholic, lost his job for refusing to take the COVID vaccine mandated by Governor Jay Inslee for all state employees in 2021.
Rolovich received support from “two high-profile” people who accompanied him during his recent court appearance for his lawsuit alleging that the university fired him without cause.
NBA legend John Stockton and Bishop Thomas Daly of Spokane sat together on May 11 to show their support for the coach and religious freedom.
“Stockton said he’d reached out to Rolovich, who was fired along with four assistant coaches in October 2021 and was present to show his support for the former coach,” according to The Spokesman-Review.
Daly, now a bishop, was formerly a priest at Rolovich’s Catholic parish in California.
“When they called into question his Catholic faith early on, I wrote a letter saying I’ve known him, this is not something that he just discovered,” Daly told the newspaper.
“He added that Rolovich had consulted with him as he weighed the decision whether to seek vaccination.”
“Rolovich contends that WSU and Athletic Director Patrick Chun fired him without just cause, which under his contract should have entitled him to 60% of the remaining base salary on his $2 million deal that was supposed to run through June 2025,” the Spokesman-Review reported.
“Rolovich says he should have been provided a religious exemption to a law requiring state employees to get the vaccine.”
The university contends that Rolovich “did not raise religious concerns about the vaccine’s development until a deadline approached for him to get the shots, and that WSU’s denial of his exemption was based on its inability to accommodate his coaching under pandemic-related guidelines and skepticism about the sincerity of his beliefs.”
The former football coach’s objection to the vaccine stems from the relationship to abortion. Aborted cells were used in the creation of the COVID-19 shot and Rolovich refused to violate his conscience on this matter.
In an essay written anonymously by a Catholic priest, it points to the issue at the center of Rolovich’s decision.
“Take, for example, the term/name ‘HEK-293.’ HEK stands for Human Embryonic Kidney, and 293 for the number of samples that had to be taken to get a viable line. These samples had to be taken very soon after the abortion. It is unknown how many abortions had to be performed to start this line (or any tainted line) but we do know the relationship between medical-research companies and abortion clinics is live-and-well and, even today, live births are provoked as companies harvest fresh organs for the sake of ‘medical research.’ This process is very horrifying to people of faith who should – to the extent possible – seek religious exemptions from such tainted vaccines. This position is supported by the congregation of Faith (CDF).”
The coach and his supporters await a ruling from U.S. District Court Judge Thomas O. Rice on whether the case can proceed.
This case may have further implications as many Catholic and Christian Americans faced similar circumstances during the pandemic.