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Nick Rolovich, former head coach of the Washington State Cougars. Photo: Chris Gardner/Getty Images

Former Washington State head football coach Nick Rolovich is suing the university after he was fired for failing to comply with the state's coronavirus vaccine requirement, his attorney said Wednesday.

Why it matters: Brian Fahling, the former coach's attorney, announced the lawsuit just two days after Rolovich and four other assistant coaches, who refused to get vaccinated, were fired.

  • Rolovich had previously been vocal about his refusal to get the vaccine and applied for a religious exemption this month. Fahling said that Rolovich's request for an exemption was denied.
  • Fahling also alleged that WSU Athletic Director Pat Chun's "discriminatory and vindictive behavior" caused "immeasurable harm" to Rolovich and his family.

What they're saying: "The termination of Washington State football coach Nick Rolovich on Monday was unjust and unlawful," Fahling said in a statement obtained by Axios.

  • "Chun’s animus towards Coach Rolovich’s sincerely held religious beliefs, and [his] dishonesty at the expense of Coach Rolovich during the past year is damning and will be thoroughly detailed in litigation," he continued.
  • "It is a tragic and damning commentary on our culture ... that Coach Rolovich has been derided, demonized, and ultimately fired from his job, merely for being devout in his Catholic faith."

Chun and other WSU officials did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

Go deeper: Washington State fires head football coach for refusing COVID vaccine

Go deeper

Oct 19, 2021 - Sports

Washington State fires head football coach for refusing COVID vaccine

Nick Rolovich. Photo: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Washington State University announced Monday that head coach Nick Rolovich and four assistant coaches were fired for not complying with the state's COVID-19 vaccine requirement.

The big picture: The former head coach has been vocal about his refusal to get the vaccine and applied for religious exemption earlier this month. Jake Dickert, the team's defensive coordinator, was named acting head coach.

Biden administration makes first move on data privacy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Biden administration is launching its first big effort on privacy policy by looking at how data privacy issues affect civil rights.

Why it matters: An administration perspective on privacy policy could be key in developing a long-awaited national privacy law by putting the White House stamp on how to regulate privacy.

Axios Investigates

Exclusive: Airbnb hosts Xinjiang rentals on land owned by sanctioned group

Data: Axios research, Airbnb, Australia Strategic Policy Institute's International Cyber Policy Centre; Map: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Airbnb has more than a dozen homes available for rent in China's Xinjiang region on land owned by an organization sanctioned by the U.S. government for complicity in genocide and forced labor, an Axios investigation has found.

Why it matters: The listings expose Airbnb to regulatory risk under U.S. law. They also land yet another American tech company in the crossfire between the U.S. and China.

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