Navy football coach Bill Ray Stutzmann was fired on Monday after refusing to take a COVID-19 vaccine, tweeting he continues to “stand firm” in his conviction.
“The Naval Academy Athletic Association policy regarding COVID-19 requires all coaches and staff to be vaccinated against this virus. Based on my religious convictions, and after much thought and prayer, I am unable to follow the requirements of the Naval Academy’s COVID-19 policy, as it had changed these last few months,” Stutzmann said in a statement on Twitter.
“After applying for a religious exemption and attempting to further negotiate alternative working arrangements, I was ultimately relieved of my duties here at Navy,” Stutzmann added.
He said his refusal to take the vaccine was based on his “conviction of faith.”
“I continue to stand firm in my conviction of faith, but I understand and respect that each individual and institution has a choice on how they wish to manage these issues,” he said.
Navy’s head coach also responded after the release of Stutzmann’s statement.
“He’s added a lot to our program,” head coach Ken Niumatalolo told Fox News.
Should military members be required to take a COVID-19 vaccine?
“Wish him the best of luck, he and his wife Shanelle. Wonderful young man. Got a bright, bright future in this profession.”
CBS Sports reported Stutzmann was in his third season as an offensive coach on the Navy staff. He previously played wide receiver at the University of Hawaii from 2009-13, and later coached at Western New Mexico College, Emory & Henry and Hawaii.
Required vaccinations also led to the end of college football reporting for Allison Williams.
“This will be the first fall in the last 15 years I won’t be on the sidelines for College Football,” she tweeted on Thursday.
“My heart hurts posting this but I’m at peace with my decision.”
“I have decided not to take the COVID-19 vaccine at this time while my husband and I try for a second child,” she added in a statement attached to her tweet.
“This was a deeply difficult decision to make and it’s not something I take lightly.”
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