Former player has sued Nick Rolovich, Washington State’s coach. He claims Rolovich violated his civil rights, and that Rolovich covered up COVID-19 athletics cases.
According to USA Today and Seattle Times, Kassady woods filed the suit Aug. 20, in Texas. Woods had previously stated to USA Today that Rolovich requested him to empty his locker by August 2020, after which he admitted to being part of #WeAreUnited. This group was composed of Pac-12 athletes who threatened to boycott the 2020 season if certain safety and health precautions weren’t met. They also advocated for racial equality, and were entitled to compensation through their name, images and likeness.
According to a 2020 USA Today report, Rolovich told Woods his involvement with the group would send “mixed messages to the team.” Washington State athletic director Pat Chun said in August 2020 that Woods’ removal from team activities stemmed from his decision to opt out of the season over health concerns rather than his involvement with the unity movement.
Woods’ lawsuit stated that Rolovich’s message was clear. It also demonstrates the actions of Defendants under state law to suppress public discourse about social and racial injustice. To Defendants: If a player posts on social media about players who have opted-out, or supports #WeAreUnited, and that player then decides to stop playing, the player’s contract with athletic services will be terminated.
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Woods is now a second-year wide receiver at Northern Colorado. He is seeking actual damages to cover the “damage” to his athletic career as well as lost scholarship opportunities and educational opportunities due in part to the Defendants’ illegal conduct. The damages would be sought in a amount that will be decided at trial.
Wednesday’s news adds to the controversies surrounding Rolovich, who previously went against Washington State’s school mandate to be vaccinated. Rolovich stated that he will comply with the state’s mandate for all Washington public schools and colleges to be fully immunized by October 18, but was unsure if he would receive the vaccine.
Woods claimed last August that he had sickle cell trait. Rolovich also described in the lawsuit an instance in which Woods’ roommate was exposed. Rolovich advised the program not to talk about the incident.
The lawsuit stated that Woods had just discovered his roommate two days before Woods arrived on campus. Woods was told by Woods’ roommate that approximately ten of his football teammates had been positive for COVID-19 at the time. Woods’ roommate thought Woods should be aware of the positive cases, even though the Defendants ordered that the players keep quiet to the media — and to Pullman — about positive COVID-19 instances that were taking place within the program.
Rolovich did not comment on the suit. According to the Seattle Times, Washington State acknowledged that it knew about the lawsuit but declined further comment.
Publiated at Thu, 2 Sep 2021 22:10:01 +0000