Over the weekend, three former NBA referees filed a lawsuit against the NBA, charging they were fired for refusing to get a COVID vaccine.
The three referees, Kenny Mauer, Mark Ayotte and Jason Phillips, declined to obtain the vaccine for religious reasons.
“Had the NBA not taken upon itself to force faith-based conscientious objectors to adhere to secular norms, none of plaintiffs’ complained-of injuries would have manifested. In sum: Plaintiffs were persecuted,” the lawsuit claims, as Fox News reported.
The referees also say that even with the NBA rescinding the requirement for a COVID vaccine for the 2022-23 season, they have not been reinstated.
In July, the NBA released a memo stating they “will not have a vaccine mandate in place next season, but will strongly suggest all personnel be up to date with vaccinations.”
Mauer served as a referee in the league for 35 years, making him the third-longest serving referee in league history. Last February, Mauer says 19 of the league’s 73 referees were reluctant to get one of the COVID vaccines the NBA approved.
A Catholic, Mauer told Jason Whitlock, “I never thought that my faith in our Lord Jesus Christ would prevent me or stop me or get in the way of me refereeing NBA basketball games. … That’s what’s happened. Not to just me, but other people.”
He cited theories that aborted fetal tissue had been used in the vaccines.
Going into the 2021-22 season, reports claimed that 95% of players had either been vaccinated or were undergoing the process. That meant that on average, one player per team was not vaccinated.
Last Friday, former Washington State University football coach Nick Rolovich filed a lawsuit against the university, contending his “rights were violated when he was fired for failing to comply with the state’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate,” WSU countered that Rolovich’s suit was “wholly without merit.
Rolovich’s suit mentions “eight counts, alleging breach of contract, discrimination, wrongful withholding of wages, as well as violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the First and 14th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.” The suit contends that WSU and Washington governor Jay Inslee “forced Rolovich to choose between his job and an ‘experimental vaccine.’”