Former Washington State coach Nick Rolovich's termination for refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccination was unlawful and an attack on his Catholic faith, his attorney said Wednesday.
Attorney Brian Fahling also said in a statement that Rolovich intends to take legal action and that the litigation will detail what the attorney called athletic director Pat Chun's “animus towards Coach Rolovich’s sincerely held religious beliefs” and his dishonesty at the expense of the former coach.
Rolovich and four of his assistants were fired Monday for not complying with the governor’s mandate that all state employees be vaccinated against the coronavirus. The attorney said Rolovich was escorted by campus police to his car and not allowed to speak to the team or visit his office after his dismissal.
Rolovich had requested a religious exemption but it was denied Monday, the state’s vaccination deadline.
“The institution also indicated that even if the exemption had been granted, no accommodation would have been made,” Fahling said in the statement.
The statement didn't specify Rolovich's religious grounds for seeking an exemption and the coach himself had declined to discuss details in recent weeks.
Additional reporting by The Associated Press.