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Navy football coach Billy Ray Stutzmann said Monday he was fired for refusing to get the COVID vaccine jab after being denied a religious exemption.
Stutzmann, who served as the offensive assistant coach, posted a lengthy post on social media saying he would be leaving the Midshipmen after three seasons.
“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,” his statement read.
“After applying for a religious exemption and attempting to further negotiate alternative working arrangements, I was ultimately relieved of my duties here at Navy. 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.”
Stutzmann put the verse Mark 11:25 at the bottom of his statement, which says, “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”